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Dead Chicken, 1921

Leopold Museum,
Vienna © Herbert Boeckl estate,
Charcoal on paper
35.7×54.9 cm


  • Herbert Boeckl

    (Klagenfurt 1894–1966 Vienna)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
In the early 1920s, Herbert Boeckl (1894–1966) shot to the top of the Austrian avant-garde. In the media of drawing and gouache, in particular, he attempted the dissolution of shapes, but without getting too close to abstraction. This depiction of a dead chicken is a telling example for his pondering of formal problems. Boeckl presents – parallel to the picture plane – a plucked chicken with its head still attached, behind it presumably two apples and a jug or a bottle to the right. The lower edge of the work is emphasized with a broad charcoal line, two further lines forming a corner in the upper left area suggest the farther edge of the table. Instead of chromatic colors, Boeckl used flat charcoal blurs to develop the mood of the work. His means range from thin lines and broad strokes to atmospherically dense darkness. Methods of drawing and painting blend in this work on paper, dating from 1921.

Object data

  • Herbert Boeckl
Dead Chicken
Art movement
Graphic work
Charcoal on paper
35.7×54.9 cm
Signed and dated lower right using charcoal: Böckl 21
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 1281
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Linie und Form. 100 Meisterzeichnungen aus der Sammlung Leopold, hrsg. von Franz Smola/Fritz Koreny, Wien 2014 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 23.05.2014–20.10.2014).

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Provenance research
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