For the moment, nothing can yet deter sweeping movements of these two men; before the force of nature claims its rightful upper-hand, they must hurry to accomplish as much of their work as possible. In 1907 when Albin Egger-Lienz came to Längenfeld in the Tyrolean Oetztal to work on Dance of Death, he enthusiastically reported in a letter to his wife about the “earthy folk” who populated his neighborhood. He had then created his first version of Reaper – an iteration of his subject, which illustrated a sunny day in the mountains. In his tireless search for the ideal interpretation, Egger-Lienz cycled through many stylistic considerations and experimented with several variations on the subject over the years that ensued. This version from 1922 counts as one of the most expressive. Neither details nor individual traits can be discerned of the nearly monochrome composition that is made up of only a few energetically spackled fields of color. What appeared in light paintings around 1907 as mere illustration or snapshot, was here raised to a vision of universal validity: The hard manual labor in an apocalyptic “nowhere” symbolizes, as it were, human existence in space and time.


  • Title: Reapers and Approaching Storm
  • Creator: Albin Egger-Lienz
  • Date Created: 1922
  • Physical Dimensions: w1384 x h840 cm (Without Frame)
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: Leopold Museum, Vienna
  • External Link: https://www.leopoldmuseum.org
  • Technique: Oil on canvas
  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings: Signed below right: Egger Lienz
  • Inv. no.: LM 532

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