Lot 44
  • 44

Alexej von Jawlensky

250,000 - 350,000 GBP
662,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Alexej von Jawlensky
  • Frau mit Kopfbinde (Woman with Head-Bandage)
  • signed A. Jawlensky (lower right)
  • oil on board


Johanna 'Mutter' Ey, Düsseldorf (acquired from the artist)

Otto Pankok, Düsseldorf

Private Collection, Germany (by descent from the above. Sold: Sotheby's, London, 24th June 2002, lot 22)

Purchased at the above sale


Cologne, Kölnischer Kunstverein; Königsberg, Königsberger Kunstverein; Mannheim, Mannheimer Kunstverein & Wiesbaden, Sammlung Ey, Düsseldorf, 1931-32, illustrated in the catalogue (titled Damenbildnis)

Wiesbaden, Neues Museum, Alexej von Jawlensky, 1954, no. 15

Madrid, Fundación Juan March & Barcelona, Museu Picasso, Alexej von Jawlensky, 1992, no. 26, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Milan, Palazzo Reale, Alexej von Jawlensky, 1995, no. 21, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Dortmund, Museum am Ostwall, Alexej von Jawlensky, Reisen, Freunde, Wandlungen, 1998, no. 178, illustrated in colour in the catalogue


Clemens Weiler, Alexej von Jawlensky. Der Maler und Mensch, Wiesbaden, 1955, no. 10, illustrated

Clemens Weiler, Alexej Jawlensky, Cologne, 1959, no. 40, illustrated p. 229

Maria Jawlensky, Lucia Pieroni-Jawlensky & Angelica Jawlensky, Alexej von Jawlensky, Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings, London, 1991, vol. I, no. 234, illustrated in colour p. 197

Catalogue Note

Jawlensky painted Frau mit Kopfbinde around 1909, a decisive year in terms of his artistic maturation. By that point, the artist had developed his own distinctive style of painting, which was thoroughly in accordance with the tastes of the avant-garde. After meeting Henri Matisse in 1905, Jawlensky had become well-attuned to the aesthetic of the Fauves, and gradually incorporated a similarly expressive and vibrant palette into his own work. By 1909 his painting expressed a sense of freedom and individuality that had been absent from his earlier compositions.

The present work is a portrait of Jawlensky’s wife Helene. Here, his bold use of vibrant passages of colour clearly demonstrates the influence of the Fauves, but the graceful modelling of the figure, particularly the arrangement of her arms, illustrates the artist’s exacting attention to line – an important element in his compositions of this period.

Around the same time that this work was completed, Jawlensky, along with fellow artists Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter, founded the Neue Künstlervereinigung, a German-based group of avant-garde painters. In December 1909 the group showed their work at the Moderne Galerie Thannhauser. The exhibition caused shock and dismay among the general public, but it also succeeded in attracting the attention of many admiring critics, ushering Jawlensky into the forefront of the avant-garde movement.

The legendary art dealer Johanna ‘Mutter’ Ey (1864-1947) was the first owner of Frau mit Kopfbinde. A key figure in the Düsseldorf art world, her gallery Junge Kunst – Frau Ey became a focal point for avant-garde painters and writers. Recognised for her intuitive understanding of the art of her day, she befriended and supported a wide range of artists – gaining the affectionate title ‘Mutter’ (mother) as a result – with many important figures frequenting her premises on the Hindenburgwall including Jawlensky.