Die Blutprobe (The Test of Blood), from Die Siebenhardenbeliebung series
The Test of Blood
Based on the common belief that the body of a victim would spontaneously bleed in the presence of its murderer, the test of blood was used in German law until the middle of the eighteenth century as a method to prove guilt.
Grohs illustrates this principle of law as a narrative moment. On a rocky beach with the sea and ships in the distance, four figures enact the crucial test. The corpse’s ungainly position is a measure of the violence perpetrated, while the accused murderer’s rigid bodily resistance already confirms his guilt.