Album of landscapes from the theatre of war (1870), Berlin – Hamburg, 1871

The portfolio with a total of thirty-six large-format depictions of abandoned battlefields of the Prussian-French War was published in autumn 1871, approximately half a year after the French surrender. It was printed in four of Germany’s leading lithographic establishments, including W. Korn & Co. in Berlin and Charles Fuchs in Hamburg. The refinement of the images, which oscillate between cool objectivity and late Romantic eeriness, as well as the brilliance of the prints mark a peak in the field of artistic chromolithography. The Hamburg lithographer and painter Eugen Krüger, who died at an early age, had already made a name for himself in the mid-1860s with atmospherically dense animal and hunting scenes when he received the commission for this portfolio. In his inventive artistic use of the photographic image and the subtle integration of elements of drawing created on location, his artistic approach is certainly comparable to that of other, far more successful colleagues of the same age such as Gustave Doré or Edouard Manet. The MePri collection holds eighteen sheets from this rare album, some of which are signed by hand.

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