Wien, Katharinenhalle by Max Pollak

Wien, Katharinenhalle by Max Pollak

Wien, Katharinenhalle

Max Pollak

Title

Wien, Katharinenhalle

 
Artist

Max Pollak

  1886 - 1970 (biography)
Year
c. 1918  
Technique
etching and drypoint 
Image Size
20 3/4 x 21 1/8" platemark 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
not stated; presumed under 25 impressions 
Annotations
pencil titled, lower left; red Friedl Pollak collection (FPC) stamp in lower left sheet corner 
Reference
 
Paper
cream Van Gelder Zonen laid 
State
published 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
22816 
Price
$900.00 
Description

This etching was likely created when Pollak was employed as an artist by the Austrian Army to chronicle World War I. Pollak was based in Vienna, Austria and did many of his early etchings based on his war observations around Vienna.

We believe this image to be of St. Katharinen's, a choir church and Dominican monestary founded in Stralsund, Austria, north of Vienna, in the 13th century. The structure saw several transformations, first as a municipal complex in the 16th century after the Reformation, then as an arsenal warehouse, an orphanage, and, eventually, a natural history museum. Today, it is the Meeresmuseum, featuring natural history, aquariums, and a wing devoted to Oceanography.

In this image, it appears the building, which in the early 20th century had been gutted and repurposed several times, was transformed into a hospital unit for wounded soldiers of World War I. Hospital beds are arranged, row after row, in the cathedral's nave. Hospital workers watch over them from the choir section.