The Boy In The City, 1930
Hans Grundig painted this study of society in 1930 during the period of the Weimarer Republik, the years of the large economic crisis. When the miner's strike in Mansfeld shut down the whole mountain mining area, Hans Grundig was there for a couple of days, living with the workers and making drafts for a triptychon. Later, when he had painted it, the fascists destroyed it except for the left section showing only a little pale boy in the big city.
At the edge of the cities, on the trampled paths between junk and waste where only wild flowers and weeds grow, the boy is standing there, in clothes not made for his little size. From the meagre face, big serene eyes stare at you, and they might have seen a lot of misery and suffering already.
Though painted in grey tones, it is a colourful painting, portraying this workers child with tenderness and pain. Yet, since the artist is a dreamer and a poet, he expresses this love with red tulips, refined flowers which could only grow from cultivated soil, but springing here from the barren wasteland. And the boy is just like that precious flower - as all children are. This painting appeals to us in a very poetic way to wrest the most brilliant possibilities from reality for all the children of the world.
In this way, the thought of love has beautifully found its expression in a painting.