I really dig this Portrait of Sylvia von Harden by German painter Otto Dix. She looks so glamorous and so successful. I love the stark colors. This painting is an example of the New Objectivity movement, which I had never heard of; but it was a reaction against expressionism
He did this in 1926. In 1959, von Harden wrote an article, Erinnerungen an Otto Dix (Memories of Otto Dix), in which she described how the portrait came to be. Apparently Otto met her on the street, and declared:
‘I must paint you! I simply must! … You are representative of an entire epoch!’
‘So, you want to paint my lacklustre eyes, my ornate ears, my long nose, my thin lips; you want to paint my long hands, my short legs, my big feet—things which can only scare people off and delight no-one?’
‘You have brilliantly characterized yourself, and all that will lead to a portrait representative of an epoch concerned not with the outward beauty of a woman but rather with her psychological condition.’
She left Germany for England in self exile. She didn’t find the success she had in Germany, though. She did shift work in a refuge factory to subsidize it.
#art, #artist, #sylviavonharden, #ottodix, #portraitart, #newobjectivity, #germanartist, #artlife, #inspiration