317
317

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE GERMAN COLLECTION

Alexej von Jawlensky
HEILANDSGESICHT: SCHÖNHEIT (ROTE) (SAVIOUR'S FACE: BEAUTY (RED))
Estimate
300,000500,000
LOT SOLD. 425,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
317

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE GERMAN COLLECTION

Alexej von Jawlensky
HEILANDSGESICHT: SCHÖNHEIT (ROTE) (SAVIOUR'S FACE: BEAUTY (RED))
Estimate
300,000500,000
LOT SOLD. 425,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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London

Alexej von Jawlensky
1864 - 1941
HEILANDSGESICHT: SCHÖNHEIT (ROTE) (SAVIOUR'S FACE: BEAUTY (RED))
signed with the initials A.J. (lower left)
oil on linen-finish paper laid down on board
35.7 by 27cm., 14 by 10 5/8 in.
Painted in 1921. 
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The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Jawlensky Committee. 

Provenance

Private Collection, Berlin (acquired by 1928)
Private Collection, Essen (by descent from the above in 1986)
Thence by descent to the present owner in 1988

Catalogue Note

Heilandsgesicht: Schönheit (Rote), painted in 1921, is one of Jawlensky’s most accomplished paintings from his series of variations on the ‘Mystic Head’, also known as the ‘Saviour’s Face’ theme, produced between 1917 and 1921. Harmonious in composition and delicate in the rendering of colour, Jawlensky has captured the magical spirit of this image in a most accomplished manner. The format and arrangement of the present work are reminiscent of traditional Russian orthodox icons, familiar artefacts from Jawlensky’s childhood. Stylistically this painting epitomises the height of the artist’s gradual reduction of form to the most essential geometric shapes, a goal pursued throughout his career.

Within Jawlensky’s œuvre, the central theme of exploration is the human face, in which he discovered ‘the perfect expression for his Eastern piety and mysticism’ (Clemens Weiler, Jawlensky, Heads Faces Meditations, London, 1971, p. 9). The innate spirituality of the work and transcendent quality of light and colour, alludes to Jawlensky’s belief in an affiliation between Art and God. Jawlensky once stated that, ‘For a few years I painted these variations and then it was necessary for me to find a form for the face, since I had understood that great art should only be painted with religious feeling. And I could bring this feeling only to the human face. I understood that in his art, the artist must use form and colour to say what is divine in him. For that reason, the work of art is a visible god, and art is the “longing for God”’ (quoted in Masters of Colour: Derain to Kandinsky (exhibition catalogue), Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2002, p. 142).

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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London