Chalk, 78 x 67 cm
In the district of Neunkirchen (Saarland) there were two Marcel-Bertrand shafts, also called "Schiffweilerschacht", each I and II. Shaft I was just under 600 metres deep and was in operation from 1925, while Shaft II was about 350 metres deep and was in operation from 1943. In 1980, both shafts were closed.
Walter Bernstein (*1901 in Neunkirchen, †1981 ibid., both in Germany) is omnipresent in many churches and schools in Saarland: From 1962 on, he received numerous commissions for art in public spaces throughout Saarland and depicted the lives of so-called ordinary people. They could identify with his works: the working world of the miner, which was characterized by mining and industry. Bernstein, a founding member of the Saarland Secession and a member of the Neunkirchen circle of artists, is described as "'the master of the industrial picture" and "obsessive painter" who "painted everything he could get his hands on". Other main themes of the devout artist were religious motifs and depictions of human suffering. As early as 1963, Walter Bernstein was the fourth artist ever to show his works at the academy. In 2017, the academy, together with the Stiftung europäische Kultur und Bildung foundation and the Förderstiftung Walter Bernstein foundation, organised another Bernstein exhibition posthumously under the title "The Industrial Painter - His View of Industry and Man".