Museum for Music Automatons

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Drawings

Richard the Lion-hearted seducing Lady Faulconbridge (King John), 1968
Atlas III, 1978
Tower of Babel V: After the Fall, 1976

The piece of white paperboard sitting on my desk, next to my manuscript, remains untouched for a long time; and then, there goes my stealthy pencil as it grazes against it, rapidly sketching a city in the foreground and behind, beyond the horizon, two monsters engaging in combat; the sky, some galaxies [...]” (Labyrinth, p. 34)

Dürrenmatt’s drawings — for the most part in India ink or pen-and-ink, but often also with a brush or, more rarely, with a ballpoint pen or a pencil — constitute the keystone of Dürrenmatt’s artistic oeuvre. They leave room for great spontaneity, and facilitate the switchover from writing to drawing, providing occasion for relaxation after all the concentration that writing demands. Many of them are the outcome of a painstaking and highly skillful work process. Dürrenmatt also resorted to the technique of rubbings, by means of a razor blade.

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