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Alexej von Jawlensky, German avant-garde and impressionism

Alexej von Jawlensky

Representative of German Expressionism, fascinated by sacred icons, Alexej Von Jawlenski created works with very intense colors. He was born in Russia in 1864 into a family with a strong military tradition, and until the age of 32 he followed the education and career to which he was naturally addressed by his father, becoming Captain of the Imperial Guards of St. Petersburg. Interested in painting, he studied at the Russian Academy of Fine Arts from 1889 to 1896, when he realized that he had become intolerant of the rules and began a long journey in Europe. In France he came into contact with the post-impressionist works of Van Gogh, Cezanne and Matisse. Landscapes, portraits and still lifes are his favourite subjects, in search of a meeting point between the inner world and external reality. He lived in Munich, where he met Vasilij Kandinskij and other talented artists, along with the work of the Nabis. He applied colour to the canvas with wide and flat brush strokes and this very personal and particular style reminds us of Matisse.

In 1911 the Der Blaue Reiter group was formed, thanks to the famous Franz Marc and Vasilij Kandinskij and he was part of it together with Paul Klee and August Macke. Jawlenski drew for his art Russian folk traditions and enamels and Byzantine icons. He moved to Switzerland at the beginning of the First World War and in 1922 married the mother of his only son, Andreas, and moved to Germany, which granted him citizenship a few years later and where he died in 1941. The last female faces he painted were almost stylized and often drew inspiration from religion and its symbols for the titles of his works. He said: "Art is nostalgia for God". Due to an acute form of deforming arthritis he was only able to paint until 1937, while the Nazi regime from 1933 entered his name on the list of degenerate artists.

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Woman's Head "Medusa"

The original work by Alexej von Jawlensky is preserved at the Museum of Fine Arts in Lyon, France. “Woman's Head - Medusa" is a two-dimensional...