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Child with Doll, c. 1910

Alexei Jawlensky

Russian, 1864-1941
Oil on paper mounted on cardboard
27-1/4 x 20-1/8 in. (69.2 x 51.1 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection
© Norton Simon Museum

Not on view

By 1910 Alexei Jawlensky was settled in the art scene in Munich, having moved there to escape the academicism fostered in Saint Petersburg where he trained. He was familiar with the work of the great colorist Henri Matisse through his trips to Paris, and several of his paintings executed around this time suggest that he was influenced by the Frenchman’s resplendent palette. In this painting Jawlensky has flattened broad, decorative shapes by enclosing them in thick outlines, and has used the bare cardboard background as an additional color element. The vibrant color, coupled with the sketch-like quality of the brushwork, speaks of a virtuosity in paint handling seen also among his contemporary German colleagues. A motif that intrigued the artist, a child holding a doll features in several works from this era, among them an image of his only son, Andreas.

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