Oberammergau (Anton Lang portraying Jesus Christ) by M. Pecht

Oberammergau (Anton Lang portraying Jesus Christ) by M. Pecht

Oberammergau (Anton Lang portraying Jesus Christ)

M. Pecht

Title

Oberammergau (Anton Lang portraying Jesus Christ)

 
Artist
Year
1922  
Technique
etching 
Image Size
5 1/16 x 3 1/2" platemark 
Signature
the artist, in pencil, lower right; the actor, in ink, lower margin. 
Edition Size
not stated 
Annotations
etched below image: Psalm 21 in German; in pencil below platemark, lower left: "Oberammergau 1922"; lower right, in ink: "Anton Lang" 
Reference
 
Paper
antique-white wove 
State
published 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
17178 
Price
$400.00 
Description

This image, etched by M. Pecht and signed by the German actor Anton Lang, depicts Psalm 21 as acted out on stage during the 400 year-old Passion Play at Oberammergau, Bavaria. A massive production that takes place every ten years, with 100 sold-out performances for every run, this "Play of the Suffering, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ" was first performed during the final years of the Bubonic Plague.

The festival originated as part of the severely decimated town's Mass, and included every towns-person, including the sick. After the first performance, when no more Plague deaths were recorded in the town, they continued to perform the Passion Play every ten years, out of gratitude.

Not much is known about the artist, M. Pecht (any help will be appreciated), who executed this etching. However, as the subject of the piece, Anton Lang remains one of today's better-known German icons. Lang was a world-renowned German actor, director, and artist, who is sometimes confused with Metropolis director Fritz Lange.

In this famous re-enactment, Lang played the part of Jesus twice, to much success. Then, being too old for the part, was given the prologue. In 1938 rumors reached England that Lang was in trouble with the Nazi authorities. He was a pacifist and also opposed Nazi attempts to add overtly anti-Semitic language to the Passion Play. Two English newspapers hired Elizabethe Corathiel to visit Lang. “He was exceedingly anxious to impress upon me the necessity of denying the rumours, pointing out that it might be very dangerous for him if they were allowed to persist.” Two weeks later Lang was dead’. Corathiel was “convinced that the political trend at the time hastened his end".