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The Old Man (Yellow Beard) (Alter [Gelber Bart])

Before World War I, Russian painter Alexei Jawlensky worked in Munich with the Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter. The color blue had a special significance for the group, who considered it a spiritual and noble hue. Here, a rich Prussian blue frames the head of Jawlensky’s Old Man, providing a vivid contrast to the bright colors of his face. Painted in the Bavarian village of Oberstdorf, The Old Man is one of three paintings of a local gardener. It belongs to a series of colorful, icon-like heads Jawlensky painted in 1912.

Alexei Jawlensky
Russian (active in Germany and Switzerland), 1864–1941
The Old Man (Yellow Beard) (Alter [Gelber Bart])
1912
Oil on canvas
20 ½ x 19 1/8 in. (52.1 x 48.6 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Jane and Roger Wolcott Memorial, Gift of Thomas T. Solley, 75.14