Poster Alexei von Jawlensky - "Medusa" Woman's head
Alexei von Jawlensky (1864 - 1941)
"Medusa" Woman's head, Shadow and Light - 1923 - Oil on cardboard H. 42 ; L. 31 cm - Purchased in 1956
From 1917 onwards, Jawlensky treated the theme of the face almost obsessively for twenty years. The work is part of the series of mystical heads - also called "Heads of Saints" - that the artist executed from 1917 to 1923. The face, slightly off-centre, occupies almost the entire painting. The expression of the gaze with its disproportionate eyes evokes the petrifying power of Medusa, reinforced by the stylised treatment of the hair. Through the use of pure and contrasting colours, Jawlensky favours the chromatic play within the face. Originally Russian and Orthodox, Jawlensky was fascinated by the art of icons, from which he borrowed the codification of facial features, using large black rings.
While the title Medusa invites the viewer to refer to mythology, the subtitle Shadow and Light suggests a more abstract - and undoubtedly spiritualist - reading of the painting.
- Dimensions :
- 50 x 70 cm
- Artist :
- Alexej von Jawlensky (1864-1941)
- Art movements :
- 20th century, German paintings
- Original work kept at :
- Lyon, musée des Beaux-Arts