Lithograph, 1922, 57 cm × 54 cm including frame
in the monograph: Photograph František Drtikol, Vladimír Birgus, Prostor, Praha, pages 22 – 24
in the book: František Drtikol, photographer, painter, mystic, Art Galery Rudolfinum, 1998, p. I./15
exhibited at: exhibition František Drtikol, photographer, painter, mystic, Art Galery Rudolfinum, 1998
The highest achieved price for the work of F. Drtikol in auction sale:
Snow Wave, bromoil gelatin silver print, sold for 312 thousand USD, Sotheby´s auction house,
New York 2007.
The relationship of František Drtikol to the religion was very complicated and was changing during the process of his life. At the beginning of the new century, the Artist was slowly breaking away from the traditional Catholicism, but in the same time he was studying the Bible and was concerned with theological issues. In the year 1913, he let himself to be photographed (just like Josef Váchal, already in the year 1906) as the Christ on the cross in exultant positions and said he intensively was experiencing the feelings of the Messiah. Drtikol´s identification with Christ had also an erotic undertone when the photographer was imagining his love of that time, Eliška Jánská, standing at the bottom of the cross, embracing him, kissing him and drinking his blood flowing out of his wounds.
In the crucifixion, the Artist seeks for the same symbolic motif as with Salome – the link between the Love and the Death. Christ, to him, does not represent “only” the Son of God and Messiah, but also the man who arouses love. Even more expressively, the symbiosis of death and erotic, flesh and spirituality, but also paganism and Christianity, appears on the drawings and graphic folios that were created in the 1920s, confronting the motif of the crucifixion with female nudes. On the lithograph Crucifixion from the year 1922, he depicted crucified Christ together with a large group of naked women, whose gestures can be understood as both grieving and longing with desire.
One of the prints of this nonconform lithograph from the year 1922 was exhibited in the year 1991 in Jacques Baruch Gallery, Chicago, where it induced protests of the church circles.
Bibliography: Photographer František Drtikol, Vladimír Birgus, Prostor, Praha, pages 22 – 24