Metropolis was directed by Austrian Fritz Lang and released in 1926. It was based on the novel of the same name by Lang's wife, Thea von Harbou. The story of class conflict and mechanization was set in the city of the future. Notable for its fantastic imagery and sets, the film reflected similar class tensions in Weimar and a widespread fascination with the modern and futuristic.
Mackensen’s work represents a more traditional style of art that many Germans were familiar with before World War I. This painting was featured in the 1937 Great German Art Exhibition in Munich, sponsored by the Nazis. See full-sized image for analysis.