A Rare Snapshot of German-American Theatrical Culture in the late 19th Century
Fine chromolithographic image illustrating the German nationalist play Die Hermannsschlacht, which was enjoying a significant theatrical run in America in the late 19th Century.
Die Hermannsschlacht was an 1808 Heinrich von Kleist play concerning the 9 AD Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, where an alliance of some Germanic tribes, under the general Arminius (translated into German as Hermann), defeated the Roman army. The play, which began to gain popularity in 1875, became a symbol of German nationalism. Germany was officially unified as an empire in 1871.
The image is a very liberal interpretation of a painting by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm, painted in 1822. Many of the Germanic soldiers wear historically erroneous winged or horned helmets.
The Library of Congress holds an uncolored version of this image.
OCLC does not locate any examples, but we did not one example at auction in the past 20 years.