Highlights of the Münchner Stadtmuseum

Hermann Obrist, Der „Peitschenhieb“ (The Whiplash)

The 20th century dawned alongside cultural aspirations to create a new artistic style. The international variations of this movement became known as “art nouveau”, “modern style” or “modernismo”. In Munich, their German counterpart was given the name of “Jugendstil” which was derived from the magazine “Jugend“ (Youth).

Part of an 1896 Munich exhibition was an embroidered “wall hanging with cyclamen”. At first almost unrecognizable as a plant, the cyclamen is drawn in the form of a sinuous curve. Deeply in awe, a visitor wrote: “This raging movement seemed to us to reflect the abrupt, violent twists of the cord when lashing a whip.” Not only did his comparison provide the title that would be used for this work from then on, but the explosive force of the impact of the “whiplash” took Munich’s Jugendstil movement far beyond the city limits.

“The Whiplash” can be viewed on the second floor of the permanent exhibition "Typically Munich!" in Monachiasaal.