Young Man


Erich Heckel (1883-1970), Young Man (Ein Junger), woodcut, 1917, signed in pencil and dated lower right margin. Reference: Dube 300, second state (of 2). On heavy Japan wove paper, in good condition with full margins (some unobtrusive creases generally confined to margins), 14 1/8 x 11 1/4, the sheet 20 1/4 x 16 7/8 inches, archival window matting.

A fine strong impression printed in black ink.

Dube dates this to 1915; Heckel has written the date 17 on this impression.

Heckel was categorized as unfit for active service during World War I, but he did volunteer for ambulance duty. While stationed in Ostend he was able to make a number of paintings, woodcuts, and drawings of colleagues or their wounded patients, some landscapes and seascapes, but never battle scenes. This moving portrait is probably of a colleague.

In 1937 Heckel’s work was labeled as degenerate, and 729 of his works were expelled from German museums; in January 1944 his Berlin studio, containing all his blocks and plates, was destroyed.