On the Danube by Max Pollak

On the Danube by Max Pollak

On the Danube

Max Pollak

Title

On the Danube

 
Artist

Max Pollak

  1886 - 1970 (biography)
Year
1907  
Technique
etching 
Image Size
6 1/4 x 11 3/4" (uneven) platemark 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
"Pr Pr" (Printer's Proof); presumed to be not editioned 
Annotations
pencil titled, editioned, and dated, lower left, bottom margin; red "F.P.C." Friedl Pollak Collection stamp in lower left sheet corner. Purple "Made in Germany" stamp on verso. 
Reference
 
Paper
smooth antique-white wove 
State
Printer's Proof 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
23291 
Price
$500.00 
Description

Max Pollak channels Whistler and Haden in his approach to this early etching from 1907 with the partial, quickly drawn figure of the farmer who enters the composition in the lower left. He forces our attention to the floating harbor on the Danube, connected to the land with a simple, temporary wooden bridge.

The Danube River had few harbors and ships and boats would just pull up onto the sandy shore to load and unload. If a mooring was needed, for sightseeing boats, for instance, a floating building would serve as a launching and mooring point. On the distance bank, Pollak just suggests a city and topography with the use of lightly etched or engraved lines and a plate tone. The team of harnessed horses in the foreground seem to be there to add interest and balance the composition.

The location is probably a small spot along the Morava River Basin in Moravia, Czechoslovakia, which drains into the Danube River Basin. The Morava is a river in Central Europe, a left tributary of the Danube. The Czech Republic signed and ratified the Danube River Protection Convention in 1995.

Many of Pollak's European prints were confiscated by the Nazis, who considered them "degenerate"

because he was Jewish. There were only proof impressions printed from this plate.