The Red Egg (1940-41) by Oskar Kokoschka

The Red Egg - Oskar Kokoschka - 1940 - 1941

Artwork Information

TitleThe Red Egg
ArtistOskar Kokoschka
Date1940 - 1941
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions63 x 76 cm
Art MovementExpressionism
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About The Red Egg

Austrian artist, Oskar Kokoschka created the painting called The Red Egg during his exile in London from 1939 to 1941. This artwork is an allegorical representation of the destruction of Czechoslovakia that happened in 1939 following the Munich Agreement. In The Red Egg, Kokoschka used grotesque caricatures of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini to satirically criticize Nazism and other ideologies. The painting measures 63 x 76 cm with oil on canvas.

The title of the painting refers to a roasted chicken, depicted flying off like an eggshell after being cracked open by an unseen force which symbolizes Czechoslovakia’s fall. One can see this metaphorical context as it adds irony and depth to the overall artwork.

Kokoschka is associated with Expressionism, Modern Sculpture, and Degenerate Art movements in his time as a painter, printmaker, draftsman, sculptor, poet, and playwright. He believed that painting was based not on three but on four dimensions giving him more artistic freedom when creating works such as The Red Egg.

With its political content portrayed through figurative exaggeration along with historical context behind its creation made The Red Egg one of Kokoschkas most interesting pieces in terms of how art can convey thought-provoking messages through visual media.

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