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Pietà (It Is Enough). Illustration for the series of lithographs on Johann Sebastian Bach’s O Eternity, Thou Word of Thunder, c. 1913

Leopold Museum Vienna,
© Fondation Oskar Kokoschka/Bildrecht,
Vienna 2022
Lithograph on paper
43.4×44.5 cm


  • Oskar Kokoschka

    (Pöchlarn 1886–1980 Montreux)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
Trying to process his failed relationship with Alma Mahler (1879–1964), Oskar Kokoschka (1886–1980) created several cycles of graphic works, including the series of lithographs on Johann Sebastian Bach’s (1685–1750) cantata O Eternity, Thou Word of Thunder. Kokoschka illustrated Bach’s allegorical dialogue between fear and hope with eleven renderings, with himself embodying hope and the role of fear ascribed to Mahler. Driven by fear, hope embarks on a journey that ends in death. The scenes can be interpreted biographically, as Kokoschka repeatedly alluded to past events from his life. For the last work in the series Pietà (“It Is Enough”), the artist revisited the pictorial formula of the Pietà and thus referred back to the poster, conceived in 1909, for his play Murderer, the Hope of Women. Rather than rendering the female figure as a deadly femme fatale, however, Kokoschka stylized the woman as a mourning Lady of Sorrows bearing Mahler’s traits in this depiction.


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Object data

  • Oskar Kokoschka
Pietà (It Is Enough). Illustration for the series of lithographs on Johann Sebastian Bach’s O Eternity, Thou Word of Thunder
c. 1913
Art movement
Graphic work
Lithograph on paper
43.4×44.5 cm
Monogrammed on the plate lower left: OK; handwritten monogram lower right: OK
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 2447
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Wien 1900. Aufbruch in die Moderne, hrsg. von Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Wien 2019 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, ab 15.03.2019).
  • Oskar Kokoschka. Expressionist, Migrant, Europäer, hrsg. von Cathérine Hug/Heike Eipeldauer, Heidelberg 2018 (Ausst.-Kat. Kunsthaus Zürich, 14.12.2018–10.03.2019; Leopold Museum, Wien, 06.04.2019–08.07.2019).
  • Kokoschka. Das Ich im Brennpunkt, hrsg. von Tobias G. Natter/Franz Smola, Wien 2013 (Ausst. Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 04.10.2013–27.01.2014).
  • Wien 1900. Sammlung Leopold, hrsg. von Diethard Leopold/Peter Weinhäupl, Wien u.a. 2009.
  • Alfred Weidinger/Alice Strobl: Oskar Kokoschka. Die Zeichnungen und Aquarelle 1897–1916, Salzburg 2008.
  • Die nackte Wahrheit. Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka und andere Skandale, hrsg. von Tobias G. Natter/Max Hollein, München 2005 (Ausst.-Kat. Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, 28.01.2005-24.01.2005; Leopold Museum, Wien, 31.05.2005-22.08.2005).
  • Hans Maria Wingler/Friedrich Welz: Oskar Kokoschka. Das druckgraphische Werk, Salzburg 1975.
Catalogue raisonne
  • Weidinger/Strobl 2008: 656
  • Wingler/Welz 1975: 68

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Provenance research
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