Austrian painter, illustrator and writer. Oskar Kokoschka’s Expressionism stemmed from a need so intense to infuse life into the puppets that, in 1918-1919, he created a life-sized doll in the image of his mistress, Alma Mahler, a doll he animated like a real puppet.
One of Kokoschka’s plays for the theatre, Das Getupfte Ei (The Speckled Egg), is a performance with figures that he presented in 1907 at Cabaret Fledermaus (The Bat Cabaret; see Cabaret). The articulated figures were from a mechanical theatre installed inside the puppet stage and illuminated from within. The mechanical theatre was mounted on a system of springs and, reflected in a large mirror, was visible to the audience. The 15-centimetre high figures were made of strips of copper and dressed in paper painted by the artist. Three of the figures, Hirsch (Deer), Fuchs (Fox) and Jäger (Hunter), have been preserved.