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Fair of Life, 1941

Leopold Museum,
Color lithograph on paper
37.5×40.3 cm


  • Oskar Laske

    (Czernowitz/Chernivtsi 1874–1951 Vienna)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
Crowds of people in different locations and attending public events – such as at departments, press offices or a wedding fair – provide the core of the 1941 lithograph Fair of Life. It is one of a series of large-scale, satirical compositions created by the painter Oskar Laske (1874–1951), whose subheading Everything for Money unambiguously formulates the basic idea behind the work: that life, in all its dimensions, can be bought. The individual stories told by the painting are scattered across the composition in a carpet-like manner, and, together with the roofs of the show booths, lead towards the inscription “La Bourse” (stock exchange), which is depicted as a tower of corpses in the background. Representing the center of the depiction in terms of composition and content, the cohesive shape of the tower appears in symbolic contrast to the exuberant bustle of the fair. In the midst of World War II, Laske explored human behavior and exaggerated it in a humorous manner to create a great satire of lasting validity.

Object data

Fair of Life
Alternative title
Everything for Money
Art movement
Naturalism I Realism
Graphic work
Color lithograph on paper
37.5×40.3 cm
Signed lower right: O. Laske
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 1988
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (o.D.);
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (seit 1994).

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