Lot 40
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30 000 - 50 000 EUR


Esquisse d'une Tête Mystique
Gouache on paper, laid down on pannel, signed and dated upper left and titled lower left
30 x 42 cm - 11 13/16 x 16 1/2 in.

Nous remercions les Archives Alexej von Jawlensky d'avoir aimablement confirmé l'authenticité de cette oeuvre.
Notre oeuvre était le dos d'un carton peint par Alexej von Jawlensky . Le devant montrait une nature morte de 1927. La date et le titre «Stilleben, 1927» se référent à la nature morte séparée (référence 1283, tome II du catalogue raisonné).

Collection privée, Paris

Alexej Von Jawlensky-Archiv, Reihe Bild und Wissenschaft. Forschungsbeiträge zu Leben und Werk Alexej von Jawlensky, Alexej von Jawlensky-Archiv S.A., Allemagne,2009, Tome III, p. 90, n° 1283v.

Born in 1864 in Torjok, Russia, Alexej von Jawlensky grew up in a family from the imperial high society. His father's military status pushed his family to move regularly throughout Europe, whether to Russia or Poland. Jawlensky himself entered the Tsa­rist army, and was appointed lieutenant while serving in Moscow. Transferred to St. Petersburg, he attended art classes at the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts for the first time. He abandons his military career and decides to devote himself entirely to art. His artistic style is particularly recognizable. The painter develops a mixture of fauvist, expressionist and neo-impressionist influ­ences, which he combines and reinvents. This is particularly noticeable in his use of flamboyant colors which, combined with the representation of faces or landscapes, make his work so emblematic. In 1898, Jawlensky went to Munich to follow Anton Ažbe's teaching. There he met Wassily Kan­dinsky, with whom he founded Der Bleue Reiter (The Blue Rider) in 1912. During the First World War, Jawlensky fled to Switzer­land and returned to Germany at the end of the war. Marked by this dark event, his ideas and artistic principles evolved. From now on, he did not want to concentrate on the superfluous, but to plunge himself into the heart of human nature and thus understand it.

This gouache on paper represents a wom­an's face, composed of a very reduced color palette. The strokes are minimalist and strongly reminiscent of the representations of African masks by modern artists at the beginning of the 20th century, showing a certain Cubist influence. The large almond-shaped eyes are characteristic of the artist's style, almost a true signature. One of Jaw­lensky's favorite subjects is indeed portraits. At the end of the First World War and until the 1930s, he experimented with a series of abstract faces. He wanted to reduce these faces to the essential in order to capture and contemplate their essence, and thus be able to devote himself to working with color.
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