Dec 31, 2008

Seated Harlequin

Seated Harlequin


Heinrich Campendonk

(German, 1889–1957)


James Parmelee Fund 1971.245

Catalogue raisonné: Engels 59



Like several of his fellow Expressionists in Munich, Heinrich Campendonk believed that the natural world was a necessary antidote to a corrupt and ill society. This print portrays a horse, the recurring mystical figure of Der Blaue Reiter, along with a harlequin, a nude female in outline, a still life, and vegetation. By the 1920s, the harlequin was a ubiquitous personification of bohemian culture. Campendonk derived the hard outlines and broad, flat black planes from sources including African tribal art and Asian shadow puppetry, examples of “primitive” art forms that appealed greatly to the Expressionists’ search for authenticity.

See also
PR - Woodcut
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
James Parmelee Fund

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