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Max Klinger's "Ein Handschuh" (A Glove), 1881:

10. "Amor" (Cupid)
Technique: Etching, size of actual image: 11 x 23.8 cm.

This is not Cupid as we are used to see him, with an angel's wings. This one is more like an insect, and maybe this is supposed to say something about scale - is he sitting on a table's edge or on the horizon? Has he captured or killed the glove? If so, with what, with true love instead of delirious yearnings? The glove is here truly featured as a fetish beyond good or evil. The alternate title for this image was "Beim Erwachen", On Awakening, and there might be a peculiar connection with the last awake picture, "Wünsche" (Yearnings), and its four slender trees. Have they turned into Cupid's arrows here?

When Klinger in 1878 exhibited drawings which were peparatory to these etchings, he showed them in a different sequence: first the two images from the skating rink, as a preamble, "Ort" (Place) and "Handlung" (Action), then "Ängste" (Anxieties), "Amor" (Cupid), "Rettung" (Rescue - also called In Danger), "Triumph" (also called "Gerettet", Rescued), "Entführung" (Abduction - also called "Traumes Ende"), "Ruhe" (Repose), and "Huldigung" (Homage). "Wünsche" (Yearnings) was not included in that exhibition.

This sequence calls for a rather divergent interpretation. Maybe the most important difference is that the homage and oath of "Huldigung" marks the conclusion and thus becomes the resulting mode. The dreamer is marooned in his dream. Should he awake, he has still irrevocably sworn loyalty to his unreal obsessions.

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