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Lear with Cordelia’s Body (From King Lear)

Modern and Contemporary Art

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Lear with Cordelia’s Body (From King Lear)

Artwork Details


Oskar Kokoschka
Austrian, 1886–1980




Lithograph on paper

Accession #

1979.61 P


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Currently Not on View


Lear with the body of Cordelia
Act V, Scene III: “And thou no breath at all? Thou’ll come no more”

Kokoschka composed this final scene as a Pietà—a traditional pictorial type showing Mary, the mother of God, lamenting over the body of her son, Jesus, lying lifeless in her lap. This reference likens the Shakespearean tragedy to a religious parable, perhaps about the sinfulness of ignoring the natural bond and mutual responsibilities between parents and children.


Gift of Dr. Sherman N. Leis through the Ackerman Foundation

Image Copyright

© Fondation Oskar Kokoschka/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ProLitteris, Zurich