107
107

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF DR. ERIKA POHL-STRÖHER

Alexej von Jawlensky
GENFER SEE MIT BLAUEM BERG (LAKE GENEVA WITH BLUE MOUNTAIN)
JUMP TO LOT
107

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF DR. ERIKA POHL-STRÖHER

Alexej von Jawlensky
GENFER SEE MIT BLAUEM BERG (LAKE GENEVA WITH BLUE MOUNTAIN)
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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Alexej von Jawlensky
1864-1941
GENFER SEE MIT BLAUEM BERG (LAKE GENEVA WITH BLUE MOUNTAIN)
signed with the artist’s initials (lower left); dated 1915 and titled by Galka Scheyer on the reverse
oil on linen-finished paper laid down on board
26 by 35cm., 10 1/4 by 13 3/4 in.
Painted in 1915.
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Provenance

Josefine Eyerle, Wiesbaden (acquired directly from the artist in October 1934)
Galerie 59, Aschaffenburg
Karl Ströher, Darmstadt (acquired in 1960)
Dr. Erika Pohl-Ströher, Switzerland (by descent from the above in 1977)
Thence by descent to the present owner in 2016

Exhibited

(possibly) Wiesbaden, Stadtisches Museum, Moderne Kunst aus Wiesbadener Privatbesitz, 1957, no. 77 (titled as Berg)
Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Sammlung Karl Ströher, 2, 1965, no. 46, illustrated in the catalogue
Darmstadt, Landesmuseum, Bildnerische Ausdrucksformen 1910-1960, Sammlung Karl Ströher, 1970, n.n., illustrated in the catalogue
Bonn, Städtische Kunstsammlungen, Alexej von Jawlensky, 1971, no. 35
Zurich, Kunsthaus, Jawlensky in der Schweiz, 2001-02, no. 5

Literature

Erika Pohl, Ursula Ströher & Gerhard Pohl (ed.), Karl Ströher, Sammler und Sammlung, Stuttgart, 1982, no. 247, illustrated p. 124
Maria Jawlensky, Lucia Pieroni-Jawlensky & Angelica Jawlensky, Alexej von Jawlensky, Catalogue raisonné of the Oil Paintings, 1914-1933, London, 1992, vol. II, no. 661, illustrated p. 60

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1915, this vibrant landscape encapsulates Jawlensky’s dedication to lyrical expressionism. The present scene captures a view across Lake Geneva, where Jawlensky settled after the outbreak of the First World War. Moving from Munich to the safe haven of Saint-Prex in Switzerland, the artist repeatedly painted this view from his window. A small but powerful landscape, Jawlensky depicts the lake, overlapping mountains and dynamic sky, using broad strokes of pure colour which harmoniously lead the viewer’s eye across the scene. The sky is a cacophony of different hues and tones, typical of the artist’s palette and a reaction to academic traditions. In 1905, Jawlensky’s works were exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in Paris alongside the Fauve artists who had an instrumental impact on his œuvre. The artist’s abandonment of representational colour in favour of spontaneous brushstrokes resonates strongly with the landscapes Matisse painted at the height of his Fauve period.

It draws inspiration from Van Gogh, Matisse and Van Dongen. Completed at the height of Jawlensky’s involvement with Der Blaue Reiter group which aimed to refine a new artistic style based on bold colour, line-work and rhythm. For Jawlensky, art became the expression of pure emotion. As he explains in his memoir: ‘I started trying to express through painting what I felt nature prompting me to say. By means of hard work and tremendous concentration I gradually found the right colours and forms to express what my spiritual-self demanded’. (quoted in Alexej Jawlensky. Heads, Faces, Meditations, London/New York, 1971; reprinted in  Alexej von Jawlensky: Catalogue raisoneé of the Oil Paintings, vol. I 1890-1914, London, 1991, in translation by Edith Künster and J.A Underwood, as ‘Memoir dictated to Lisa Kümmel, Wiesbaden, 1937’, pp. 25-33), and is testament to Jawlensky’s pioneering position in the Expressionist movement.

The present work is titled and dated on the reverse by Galka Scheyer, a painter, dealer and collector who was instrumental in the foundation of Die Blauen Vier in 1924 (the group which included Wassily Kandinsky, Lyonel Feininger and Paul Klee as well as Jawlensky). In 1920, Scheyer organised an exhibition of Jawlensky's works, which was to travel Germany for three years until 1923. It is likely that the present work was titled by Scheyer on this occasion. Scheyer keenly promoted the work of Die Blauen Vier in the United States, encouraging greater recognition for these artists outside Europe.

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