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John Heartfield (1891 - 1968)

Lot 625: (POSTER) heartfield, john (1891-1968)

Swann Auction Galleries

December 7, 2004
New York, NY, US

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"Das letzte Stuck Brot...[The last Piece of Bread...]." Lithograph, 55x38 inches (139.7x96.5 cm.), with Heartfield's facsimile signature and the photographer, Hevesy's, and the publisher, S. Malz's, credit printed on recto. 1932Condition A. Two sheets.


one of the icons in Heartfield's pantheon of pro-communist, anti-fascist propaganda. The sympathetic photo and accompanying text make for a very effective emotional appeal. This previously unrecorded, large-format version of the poster is unique for several reasons other than its unusual size. On all other known versions of the poster there is no printer listed. Here the printed is not only listed but is a known Berlin printer of leftist propaganda. Furthermore the publication and the content of the poster is attributed to Ernst Schneller ("Herausgeber und fur den Inhalt verantvortlich") the famed German anti fascist, who died in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1944. In addition to a printer and publisher, the photograph, too, is also given credit: "foto: Hevesy," leading to the possibility that this previously un-attributable photograph is actually the work of the avant-garde Hungarian photographer Ivan Hevesy.

The full title, translated to English, reads: "The last Piece of Bread, Capitalism is robbing them of their last piece of bread. Fight for yourself and your children. Vote Communist! Vote Thalmann."

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