Published in 1923 by Malik-Verlag, Grosz’s Ecce Homo (echoing the famous words ‘Behold the man’, used by Pilate in the Gospel of John when he presents a scourged Jesus Christ, bound and crowned with thorns, to a hostile crowd shortly before his crucifixion, but here probably better translated as ‘Here are the people’), this infamous portfolio contains 84 offset lithographs and 16 watercolour reproductions, of which all those including an erotic element – the majority – are shown here.
Ecce Homo is a vicious satire of post-war German life, with politicians, capitalists, prostitutes, mutilated veterans, beggars and drunks in various states of despair, lust, and rage. The German government banned it and Grosz was put on trial for public offence. While clearly influenced by the Cubist, Bauhaus, and Fauvist movements, in Ecce Homo Grosz’s raw, angry style is distinctly his own.
A complete edition of Ecce Homo, with an English-language introduction by Henry Miller, was published by Methuen in 1967.