Urs Graf (1485- after 1529) was a Swiss Renaissance painter and printmaker (of woodcuts, etchings and engravings), as well as a mercenary soldier. He only produced two etchings, one of which dates from 1513 – the earliest known etching for which a date has been established. However, his woodcuts are considered of greater significance, particularly as he is attributed with the invention of the white-line woodcut technique, where white lines create the image on a black background.
Crippled Devil and Hermit (1512)
He quickly came into conflict with the law for abusing his wife and supporting prostitution, culminating in accusations of attempted murder which caused him to leave the city in 1518. He was allowed to return to Basel the following year, where he continued working, but in 1527 he vanished from the city, never to be heard of again; although there is a signed drawing from 1529.
Devil captures a soldier (1516)
Like many Swiss men of his day, Graf was known to have worked as a mercenary for considerable periods. His artistic output, includes a wide range of subjects, depicting social, erotic, military, political and criminal images (e.g., Two Prostitutes Beating a Monk. (wikipedia)
Two mercenaries and a woman with Death in a tree, 1524
Through it all Graf produced unique artworks reflecting the violence and social circumstances in which he was immersed. These lively prints and drawings incorporate elements of fantasy or the grotesque and erotic (or at least perverse) but are frequently tinged with a satirist's sense of humour. Conversely, his legacy also includes a sizeable number of purely religious prints and book illustrations. Graf almost always signed his drawings, a practice which helped establish sketch work as an individual artistic discipline rather than a mere transitional process. (bibliodyssey.blogspot.com)
Battle of Marignano (1521)
Naked female Fiddler and Fool (1523)
The promotion of a mercenary in a guild house (1521)
Αλλά πάντα από την αποστα- σιοποιημένη ματιά της τέχνης
Εργα τέχνης που απεικονίζουν σκοτεινές πλευρές της ιστορίας και του ανθρώπινου ψυχισμού, όπως ωμή βία, ρατσισμό, κακοποίηση και σφαγές άλλων -ΔΕΝ ΠΡΕΠΕΙ ΝΑ ΛΟΓΟΚΡΙΝΟΝΤΑΙ!! Πρέπει να αντιμετωπίζουμε πρόσωπο με πρόσωπο την ωμότητα και να πασχίζουμε να την κατανοήσουμε με κριτικό και αποστασιοποιημένο τρόπο, αν θέλουμε να φτιάξουμε έναν καλύτερο κόσμο.
Graphics that depict dark aspects of history—such as violence, intolerance, racism, aggressive nationalism, war and atrocity, abuse of others and of the environment in general—have not been censored. We must confront such harsh images directly—and struggle to critically understand them—if we hope to ever make a better world. ocw.mit.edu