framed dimensions 24" x 19.5" x 2"
Maria Jawlensky, Lucia Pieroni Jawlensky, Alexej von Jawlensky: Oil Paintings 1890-1914 v. 1: Catalogue Raisonne, United Kingdom: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd., 2003; cat. no. 339, illustrated in black and white.
Collection of Dr. Otto Fischer, Director of the Museum Stuttgart and Basel, purchased in Munich, 1911
Kornfeld & Klipstein, Bern, June 1980, Lot 582, ill.
Trudi Neuburg-Coray, Ascona
Wolfgang Wittrock Kunsthandel, Düsseldorf
Private Collection, California
About Alexej von Jawlensky
Alexej von Jawlensky primarily painted archetypal portraits in an increasingly abstract style, eventually reducing the face to simple geometric forms in contrasting colors. Earlier on, his portraits, landscapes, and still lifes drew inspiration from Wassily Kandinsky—with whom he helped form “Der Blaue Reiter” (The Blue Rider)—as well as the Fauves (especially Henri Matisse) and the Neo-Impressionists, particularly with respect to the use of vibrant color. As he adopted a progressively more Expressionist style, he began to focus solely on the human face as an object of religious meditation. These simplified spiritual portraits stemmed from the piety of his Russian Orthodoxy, elevating his work to a sort of modern religious iconography. He painted these “Meditations” exclusively toward the end of his life, during which time he suffered from debilitating arthritis.
Russian, 1864-1941, Torschok, Russia