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Witch and Water Serpent, 1906

Leopold Museum,
Gouache on paper
32.9×36.3 cm


  • Alfred Kubin

    (Leitmeritz/Litoměřice 1877–1959 Zwickledt)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
In his 1906 work Witch and Water Serpent, Alfred Kubin (1877–1959) showcases his great passion for fantasizing and his predilection for exquisitely strange narratives of fantastic worlds. Using gouache on paper, he creates figures that appear to have emerged from the devouring darkness of the deep sea and seem to be dancing and whirring around each other in iridescent colors in their wet element. The Austrian draftsman, graphic artist and painter, who, after short intermezzi of studying, made a career as an autodidact thanks to his overflowing imagination and exceptional talent for drawing, skillfully stages the two entwined fantastic creatures diagonally in a nearly square format. We encounter their prickly, hairy and scale-covered bodies and fins in a driving, sweeping motion. Shimmering in shades of green, blue, rusty red and yellow with superimposed white lights, the two bodies nestling together seem to reflect the light penetrating the darkness. The two creatures exude tenderness, despite their weird amphibious exoticism.

Object data

  • Alfred Kubin
Witch and Water Serpent
Art movement
Graphic work
Gouache on paper
32.9×36.3 cm
Signed lower right: Kubin
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 883
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Alfred Kubin. Bekenntnisse einer gequälten Seele, hrsg. von Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Köln 2022 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 16.04.2022–24.07.2022).
  • Alfred Kubin. Aus meinem Reich. Meisterblätter aus dem Leopold Museum, hrsg. von Rudolf Leopold/Romana Schuler, Wien 2002 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 05.10.2002-06.01.2003).

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Provenance research
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