Alfred Cossmann


(Dead Mole),

etching, 1904


Alfred Cossmann (Graz 1870-1951 Vienna)

"Epitaphium" ["Epitaph"] also known as "Maulwurf" ["Mole"] and "Toter Maulwurf" ["Dead Mole"]

etching and copperplate engraving


proof impression of a pre-final state

20,4 × 27,9 cm 

lower right in pencil signed: "Alf. Coßmann"

In the plate, there is a four-line poem by Wilhem Busch (1832-1908), in part: "Now there he lies the poor wretch / ... / Here is his own death."

Literature: Cossmann, Alfred Cossmann Werkverzeichnis [Catalogue Raisonne], 1954, II. Teil, Freie Graphik, Nr. 68.


This etching is a proof impression of a pre-final state, before the addition of the artist's name "A. COSSMANN" below the tail of the mole.  The Austrian National Library (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek), Vienna, holds an impression of the final state, inventory number G-18609 POR MAG.  See:

For a similar etching by Richard Müller of the same subject (a dead mole) in a nearly identical composition, see Franz Hermann Meißner, Das Werk von Richard Müller (Dresden: Adrian Lukas Müller, 1921), pgs. 96 and 154 (ill.) ("Maulwurf").  A precursor is the Anglo-Bohemian artist Wenceslaus Hollar's well-known etching "Dead Mole," from 1646.


The Daulton Collection