2 More

Portrait Frau Gindus

Portrait Frau Gindus
signed 'A. Jawlensky' (lower left)
oil on board
18 ¾ x 11 7⁄8 in. (47.7 x 30.2 cm.)
Painted in 1901
Estate of the artist.
Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York.
Lillian C. Zevin, Cleveland (acquired from the above, 1965).
By descent from the above to the late owner.
C. Weiler, Alexej Jawlensky, Cologne, 1959, p. 226, no. 8 (illustrated).
C. Weiler, Alexej Jawlensky, Hanau, 1970, p. 142, no. 12.
M. Jawlensky, L. Pieroni-Jawlensky and A. Jawlensky, Alexej von Jawlensky: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings, 1890-1914, London, 1991, vol. I, p. 48, no. 24 (illustrated).
New York, Leonard Hutton Galleries, A Centennial Exhibition of Paintings by Alexej Jawlensky, February-March 1965, no. 1.

Brought to you by

Margaux Morel
Margaux Morel Associate Vice President, Specialist and Head of the Day and Works on Paper sales

Lot Essay

Painted in 1901, Portrait Frau Gindus is an early work by Alexej von Jawlenksy. Born in Torzhok, Russia, Jawlenksy didn’t come to painting until his early twenties, after giving up a career with the Russian Imperial Guard. In 1889 he traveled to St. Petersburg to study under the historical painter Ilya Repin renowned for his realistic, psychologically compelling work. While in St. Petersburg, Jawlensky became enamored with the high society's costume balls and ballets. This period, though brief in his larger artistic career, solidified his interest in the human figure, especially faces, that would follow him well into his career, becoming the main subject of his later work.
By 1896 Jawlenksy was ready for something new. When moving to Munich, Germany, he was introduced to the vibrant colors of Fauvism and the new wave of German Expressionism. During his first few months in Munich, where he would go on to spend the majority of his career, he got to know some of the most influential avant-garde artists of the time. He kept company with Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter; in meeting Marianne von Werefkin, a formal pupil of Repin, he further developed his color palette and abstract tendencies. The following years would prove crucial to the development of his style, as his brushwork became increasingly confident and the boldness of the color nearly overpowering.
The present work is one of the earliest works painted upon his arrival to Munich. As the predecessor to later works of female sitters in lavish dress and bright colors, like Bildnis des Tänzer Sacharoff (Jawlensky, no. 205), his Potrait Frau Gindus is a testament to the artist's deep knowledge and appreciation for Vincent Van Gogh’s work, while simultaneously capturing the first signs of his own style. By utilizing a loose, airy, wet-on-wet paint style Jawlenksy juxtaposes Frau Gindus' red dress against a mustard yellow background as she rests her hands on her lap, looking longingly toward the viewer. Her headdress may have been a traditional German piece adopted from the bonnets of the 1870s, denoting the sense of formality and grandeur. Not publicly exhibited since 1965, the painting is an exquisite example of Jawlenksy’s prowess as a portraitist before his turn toward expressionism.

More from Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

View All
View All