1922 · Berlin
The collection of 9 signed lithographs is based on the famous 1781 play by Friedrich Schiller which attacks political tyranny, and is one of George Grosz's most infamous political works. In "Die Rãuber" (The Robbers) Grosz, an ardent foe of capitalism, and a member of the Communist Party since 1921, caricatures the capitalist ruling class in 9 powerful lithographs. These depict the rich and vile, ugly and greedy characters.
Plate 1: "Ich will alles um mich her ausrotten, was mich einschränkt, dass ich nicht Herr bin" (I will eradicate anything around me obstructing my progress toward becoming the master) depicts a grotesque corporate 'czar' standing before his factory, a leering smile on his face as he makes an obscene motion with a Freudian cigar.
Plate 2: "In meinem Gebiet soll's soweit kommen..." (Under my rule, it shall come to pass...) features three capitalists with their pig-like and cruel faces counting out notes and coins while workers while poor people hover in the background.
Plate 3: Missing in our copy, "Es ist doch eine jämmerliche Rolle, der Hase, sein müssen auf dieser Welt..." (Poor hare! Thou playest but a sorry part in this world's drama...) shows a condescending boss addressing a submissive employee.
Plate 4: "Ich habe das Meine getan... Das Plündern ist eure Sache!" (I've done my part... to plunder is your affair!) depicts a W.W. I. veteran begging at a street corner while being ignored by a passing by wealthy couple with their arms full of Christmas gifts.
Plate 5: "Gottes sichtbarer Segen ist bei mir" (God's visible blessing is upon me) shows a wealthy family celebrating Christmas in their luxurious home.
Plate 6: "Löwen und Leoparden füttern ihre Jungen" (Lions and leopards nourish their young) features a naked and emaciated child imploring a visibly unconcerned factory owner, too busy amassing a fortune in his arms.
Plate 7: "Da donnern sie Sanftmut und Duldung aus ihren Wolken und bringen dem Gott der Liebe Menschenopfer" (They thunder meekness and tolerance from their clouds and offer human sacrifices to the God of love) depicts a pastor preaching on top of bloody corpses at the front.
Plate 8: "Schwimme, wer schwimmen kann, und wer zu plump ist, geh' unter!" (Swim if you can, and those who are too clumsy go under!) features an emaciated old man in a posture that makes you feel his despair.
Plate 9: "Das Recht wohnet beim Überwältiger" (The law lives with the steamroller) shows a wounded worker, with blood on his face, raising a vengeful fist while standing in a cemetery.
Each plate is numbered and signed in pencil by the artist, and measures app.. 27 x 19 1/2". One hundred copies of this work were published in three different editions, see above.
Text in German. Portfolio with separated cover page and flap at foredge. Covers rubbed with some small chips, water staining and scuffing. Back cover with two inch discolored strip at foredge. Framed plates one and two slightly wavy in corners due to humidity exposure, with plate one showing a one by half an inch light water stain in upper left corner not affecting image. Title page with some creasing at bottom edge and two by one and a half inch water stain in lower right corner. Mat partially sunned at left, upper and right edge. Plate four with foxing of one and a quarter by one and a half inch in right lower corner, affecting image. Plate six with foxing of one and a quarter by one and a quarter inch at lower center, affecting image. Plate eight with foxing of one and a quarter by one and a quarter inch in upper left margin, not affecting image. Portfolio in overall poor, plates in overall good- to very good condition. (Inventory #: 45091)