Herbert von Reyl-Hanisch, Duel, 1932
In the early 1930s Herbert von Reyl-Hanisch intensified his criticism of civilization. He regarded industrialization as the destroyer of humane values and promoter of aggression and aimed to hold up the classical ideal as a contrast to this, as a kind of purification for the soul. The fighter on the left, who steps forward boldly, while his opponent with a knife adopts a defensive pose. The woman, whose presence suggests that she is the reason for the duel, is watching the scene with cool composure. In a preparatory drawing at the Vorarlberger Landesmuseum in Bregenz, the man on the right is shown in bourgeois attire, creating a greater contrast with his opponent who looks more like a worke. In the same year as this picture, Reyl-Hanisch painted Pursuit, a work in a similar style which shows the fighting between Social Democrats and National Socialists in Schwechat on 14 April 1932, after which the latter had to be taken away under police protection.