A Leopard in an Asian Landscape
  • Alfred Kubin
  • Leitmeritz 1877 – 1959 Zwickledt
  • A Leopard in an Asian Landscape
  • Pen and black ink, on wove paper, framing lines with pen and ink
  • signed with pen on the upper right: AKubin (attached)
  • 241 × 132 mm

Alfred Kubin began studying photography in Klagenfurt in 1892, but abandoned the pursuit four years later, disillusioned. He voluntarily joined the army, but was released after he suffered a nervous breakdown there. Subsequently, he began art studies in Munich in 1898, which he likewise discontinued the following year.

He nevertheless remained true to drawing, and worked from that point on his own. In 1901, these labours were rewarded with a solo exhibition in the renowned Galerie Cassirer. Thereafter followed several study trips, among others a visit to Odilon Redon in Paris, and his wedding with the wealthy widow Hedwig Gründler, which enabled him to acquire the old estate of Castle Zwickledt in Wernstein on the Inn in 1906.

The bizarre nightmare/dream worlds that Kubin later became so famous for emerged from this self-imposed seclusion over the course of the following decades. His own 1909 novel Die andere Welt (The Other World), filled with numerous illustrations by the artist himself, was the prelude to this fantastic life journey through wishful thoughts, hallucinations, states of anxiety, and apocalyptic visions. Yet Kubin participated the same year in the foundation of the Munich New Artists’ Association, the forerunner of the Blaue Reiter, along with Kandinsky, Jawlensky, Werefkin, Münter, Hofer, and others.

Kubin worked throughout his life almost exclusively as a graphic artist, issued numerous visionary portfolios, and illustrated roughly 60 books, from Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Edgar Allan Poe to Elias Canetti. In his old age, he was recognized for his unique life’s work with the highest accolades and honourary membership into various academies.

This dense pen and ink study shows the predator waiting in the foreground before a seemingly Asian, almost idyllic landscape with a type of Babylonian tower in the background.