20th-Century German School, Plasterers

20th-Century German School, Plasterers

This unusual mid-20th-century oil on canvas depicts three men plastering a brick wall. Two are standing on makeshift wooden scaffolding while a third is up a ladder. Clearly health and safety regulations were a little more relaxed in the 1940s.

We acquired the painting from Germany and it’s interesting to consider its context. Following the Second World War, many German cities underwent an intensive period of reconstruction. On every street in urban areas, rubble was moved away and replaced with labour. Here we see three workers symbolically raised to suggest renewal. A glimpse of blue sky echoes the mood.

As we look back upon this devastating period of history, important paintings such as these capture a snapshot of everyday life for citizens coping with their bleakest hours. Within even the darkest cloud, there exists hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 23½” x 32” / 60cm x 81cm
Year of creation: c. 1947
Condition: Artwork presents well.

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