Signed and dated at lower right, "Kubin 27"; inscribed at lower left in graphite, "Rheumatiker".
Watermark: J C A France
Born in 1877 in Bohemia, then part of Austria, Kubin moved to Munich in 1895 to study art. He embraced the world of dreams and visions of the symbolist movement. His interest in literature led him to illustrate many books, and from 1912 on, he frequently contributed drawings to the satirical journal Simplicissimus. A slightly altered version of this drawing was published there in November 1928. The scene depicts an old man and his dog strenuously climbing the stairs toward a small devotional altar dedicated to the Madonna and Child. The accompanying caption in Simplicissimus reads, "One should be careful with religion -- I caught this ache on a pilgrimage." The scrawny figures and nervous line drawing are typical of Kubin, who once described his drawing as "more like writing."