Dance of the dead & temptation of the holy Antonius
The series about the temptation of the holy Antonius in its sketches and drawings evokes little and grand signs of an approaching apocalypse and the Last Judgement. Erotic seduction and threatening monsters, a struggle for self assertion and inner strength facing the absurdities of the world create works between constriction and amusement, hiding contemporary criticism in a legend.
Similarly, Berke makes the temptation of and the struggle with death an object of a series named “dance of death” that he starts before the second world war even begins. Starting with designs for the Cologne carnival, death in form of a skeleton (sometimes as the main character sometimes in the background) is omnipresent in these works but always depicted in a humorous way.