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The Hope, 1930

Leopold Museum,
Vienna © Bildrecht,
Vienna 2022
Oil on canvas
187×148 cm


  • Otto Rudolf Schatz

    (Vienna 1900–1961 Vienna)

Currently on display at EG
Otto Rudolf Schatz (1900–1961) wanted to convince others through his art not only in terms of form, but also as a means of engaging with the problems of mankind. In order to “drill himself into the center of life,” as he said to his friend the writer Viktor Matejka (1901–1993), he attempted either to remove any disguise, or to emphasize the masquerade so much that we can recognize not only the misery, but also the will to self-determination of those who live on the margins of society. In the large-format The Hope, originally called Artistes, Schatz depicted four completely different existences from the world of the Vienna Prater. Although they are painted in the half-naked get-up of the theatre, they show no shame, presenting themselves rather with pride and self-confidence. With the meticulousness of New Objectivity, Schatz reproduces subtle details, such as the transparent lace shawl of the figure to the left, for example. While the form may be clear, the depiction of these four persons remains ambiguous. They were often interpreted allegorically, as an indirect image of the phases of human existence, or of the continents; they were also seen as an expression of the artist’s anti-classical approach.


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Object data

  • Otto Rudolf Schatz
The Hope
Art movement
New Objectivity
Oil on canvas
187×148 cm
Monogrammed and dated lower right: ORS 30
Credit line
Private collection

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Provenance research
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