Feb 6, 2013



c. 1929

Alfred Maurer

(American, 1868–1932)


Support: Laid paper

Overall: 54.6 x 45.7 cm (21 1/2 x 18 in.)

Gift of Tommy and Gill LiPuma in loving memory of Sam and Rose LiPuma 2003.53



A dramatic new development emerged in Maurer’s art of the mid to late 1920s. After years of concentrating on landscapes and still lifes, he suddenly began painting figures, a shift that puzzled friends and critics alike. His boldly painted heads, with simplified features and intense expressions, share stylistic similarities with the portraits of the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani. Perhaps, like other artists reacting against the horrors of World War I, Maurer aspired to create a more humanistic art by merging modernism with a classical sensibility. While traveling in Italy in 1906, he had developed tremendous admiration for the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, whose delicate lines and gracefully long necks seem to have influenced Maurer’s late figure style. Maurer also gave his late figures an iconic presence through their intense expressions and large eyes, reminiscent of ancient Mesopotamian and African sculptures.

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