Shirers' Berlin Cafe - 1930s (1983)
Etching / Engraving by Mark Eason


  • Etching / Engraving, Paper
  • From a limited edition of 5
  • Size: 12 × 14 in (unframed) / 10 × 12 in (actual image size)
  • This artwork is sold unframed
  • Signed and numbered on the front

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Mark Eason

United Kingdom

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Artist's description:

There is a passage in William Shirer's book, "The Rise & Fall of The Third Reich" in which he describes the Berlin of The Weimar Republic before the rise of the Nazis, where there was thought and discussion of art, philosophy and politics in cafes all night, freely engaged in by people of all types, and how this freedom of expression was all snuffed out so soon after. I did this etching from a drawing I did imagining one of those cafes and after Edward Hopper's own classic painting of an American night-time café. There was a swastika in that original drawing taken by the brass rubbing technique direct from the swastika embossed on the cover of the book, but that is excluded from the etching as it seemed gratuitous. But the Nazi Eagle survived (in the lower foreground). There are about 5 or 6 of these prints, some coloured, some grey, some earlier stages. My Head of Department at Leeds was Willy Tirr, a German Communist who fought The Nazis on the streets of Berlin and was later a British Agent in Germany during the War before he became an artist. He gave us a lecture about those Berlin Streetfighting Days and the German artists who risked everything by not co-operating with Goebbels Ministry, that was fascinating. This particular print is in a green tint, the 2nd stage of the plate - there is a 3rd stage but I am keeping that as I only have one print of it. There is a line across the mid-part of the scanned image which is due to my scanner not being large enough to scan the print in one go, the line is not there on the real print. I love this image as I just seem to drift into it when I look at it, despite its crude rendering.

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