Man in a Cemetery

Otto Plaug (1898–2000)
Date: c. 1919 or later
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 18 3/4 H x 24 W
Signed on front bottom left: O. Plaug.
Credit: Gift of Albert B. Roberts
Accession Number: 2020.12.1368
The painting depicts a man mourning over a fresh grave in a beachside cemetery, very likely along the north coast of Europe. Plaug was studying art in Germany at the outbreak of World War I in 1914 and he remained in Germany until 1919, when he returned to the United States to be with his father and sister in Saratoga County, New York. He may have painted the scene from actual experience before he left Europe, although it is possible he painted it years later as a reflection on the regretful costs of the war.