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Alexej von Jawlensky (1864-1941)
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Alexej von Jawlensky (1864-1941)

Stilleben mit Früchten, Figur und Flasche

Details
Alexej von Jawlensky (1864-1941)
Stilleben mit Früchten, Figur und Flasche
signed 'A. Jawlensky' (lower left)
oil on paper
20 5/8 x 22 5/8 in. (52.5 x 57.6 cm.)
Painted in 1907
Provenance
Dr. Max Kugel, Wiesbaden.
Anonymous sale, Lempertz, Cologne, 1967, lot 376.
R.N. Ketterer, Campione.
Private collection, Switzerland.
Anonymous sale, Christie's, London, 28 November 1989, lot 340.
Galerie Thomas, Munich.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1991.
Literature
C. Weiler, Alexej von Jawlensky, Cologne, 1959, no. 716 (illustrated p. 278).
C. Weiler, Köpfe, Gesichter, Meditationen, Hanau, 1970, no. 1303, p. 135.
M. Jawlensky, L. Pieroni-Jawlensky & A. Jawlensky, Alexej von Jawlensky: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings, Volume One 1890-1914, London, 1991, no. 190, p. 164 (illustrated p. 173).
Exhibited
Frankfurt, Kunstkabinett, Alexej von Jawlensky, April - May 1954, no. 7; this exhibition later travelled to Munich, Kunstkabinett Klihm, June 1954.
Wiesbaden, Neues Museum, Alexej von Jawlensky, September - October 1954, no. 9.
Campione, R.N. Ketterer, Moderne Kunst V, 1968, no. 48 (illustrated p. 60).
Munich, Galerie Thomas, Alexej Jawlensky: Eine Ausstellung zum 50. Todesjahr, November 1990 - February 1991, no. 19.
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Lot Essay

A photograph of this work is conserved in the artist's photo-archive, titled 'Stilleben mit Flasche und Figur'.

Painted in 1907, Stilleben mit Früchten, Figur und Flasche dates from a crucial period in Jawlensky's career when he had begun to develop the expressive influence and understanding of colour for which he would become famous. In this painting, this love of pure and untrammelled colour is clear in the fruit especially, which has been thrust into the foreground, burning on the canvas, through its outlines in Prussian Blue. This technique lends the fruit and other objects an intensity that is akin to stained glass. It also recalls the influence of two artists of great significance at this point in Jawlensky's life: Gauguin and Cézanne. It was only shortly before Stilleben mit Früchten, Figur und Flasche was painted that Jawlensky had seen one of his paintings for the first time, and he had been deeply affected by it; Cézanne, by contrast, had been an influence for some time as is clear in some of the composition and mood of this painting. But it is clear that Jawlensky has now distilled Cézanne's influence, taking only the elements that lend a sensory and mental aspect to viewing the picture, and is by no means a slave to it. It is telling that Stilleben mit Früchten, Figur und Flasche was painted the same year as the posthumous retrospective in Paris dedicated to the late Master of Aix, and which Jawlensky went out of his way to visit.

Jawlensky's increasing interest in colour, to which he was to become almost spiritually attached in his pictures, owed itself to two other artists during this period: the Nabi painter Paul Sérusier and the arch-colourist Henri Matisse. Both of these he had met around the time that Stilleben mit Früchten, Figur und Flasche was painted, yet the incandescent palette with which areas of this work are filled clearly owes a great part of its vitality to Matisse, while the increasing sense of a poetic and spiritual power translated through colour owes much to the theories of the Nabis. This was a facet of Jawlensky's painting that would become formalised in a different way the following year, when he began holidaying in Murnau with his fellow Russian, Wassily Kandinsky; Stilleben mit Früchten, Figur und Flasche, though, was painted during a brief window when it was to the lyrical colourism of the French that Jawlensky had turned.

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