In this present work, Jawlensky adroitly employs soft yet radiant hues and assertive lines to create a delicate composition and muted expression in the anonymous face. The artist's mastery of colour and line harken back to his roots as an instrumental expressionist in the Blaue Reiter movement. Another important influence on Jawlensky’s move toward abstraction was the multi-dimensional approach of the Cubists, whose fragmented and highly abstracted compositions he had seen in Paris. As Clemens Weiler writes: ‘Cubism, with which he became acquainted in 1910, supplied Jawlensky with the means of simplifying, condensing and stylizing the facial form even further, and this simplified and reduced shape he counterbalanced by means of even more intense and brilliant colouring. This enabled him to give these comparatively small heads a monumentality and expressive power that were quite independent of their actual size’ (Clemens Weiler, Jawlensky Heads, Faces, Meditations, London, 1971, p. 14).
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