Provenance Research

Alexej von Jawlensky (1864-1941)
Russia
Seated Woman, 1911
Oil on composition board
28 1/8 x 19 3/4 in. (71.4 x 50.2 cm)
Fanny Bryce Lehmer Endowment, 1975.73
2002 Artists Right Society (ARS), VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Signed upper left: "A.J."

Description:
A three-quarter-length view of a woman seated in a chair against a green background. She wears a black skirt and a red blouse with yellow flowers.

Alternate Titles:
Sitzende Frau

Provenance:

1911 ?:   Alexej von Jawlensky, Munich [1]
     
Ca. 1956:   (Madame Lea Jaray [Lea Bondi Jaray, 1880-1969], London, sold to [2])
     
By at least 1956-April 1971:   (Redfern Gallery, London, sold to [3])
     
April 1971-?:   (Serge Sabarsky Gallery, New York, sold to)
     
    Private Collection, returned to
     
?-1975:   (Serge Sabarsky Gallery, New York, sold to)
     
1975-present:   Cincinnati Art Museum


Notes:
[1] In 1914, at the onset of World War I, Jawlensky fled Germany for Switzerland, leaving many artworks in his Munich studio. In 1920 he and his family returned to Munich to gather their remaining possessions and close the studio. At that time Jawlensky monogrammed and dated many of his earlier works, which he had left there. According to the artist's son, Andreas Jawlensky, the monogram on Seated Woman indicates that the painting was one of those works left in the Munich studio and signed after the war.

The ownership history of the painting before 1956 is difficult to trace. Some sources have included the artist's estate on the provenance; however, according to Andreas, the painting must have left Jawlensky's possession prior to 1939, because it was not included in Clemens Wieler's inventory. The painting was not among objects from the estate published in Weiler's 1959 biography, nor is it included in Lisa Kümmel's index of the contents of Jawlensky's studio (compiled from 1937 to 1939), which Weiler published in 1971. The 1991 catalogue raisonné, produced by the Jawlensky Archive, also included the Jacques Fricker Gallery, Paris, on the provenance. Recent correspondence with the archive has identified that this may be incorrect. The archive contacted Mrs. Fricker, who informed them that she has no recollection of the painting having ever been with the gallery. No other documents support the gallery's inclusion on the painting's provenance at this time. There may still be a connection between this gallery and the painting, as the work may have been exhibited there in 1956. Another possible path for the painting is that Galka Scheyer, a supporter and important dealer of Jawlensky's work, may have acquired it. She went to the Munich studio in October 1920 to gather all of the remaining paintings there. No documents known at this time support or deny her possible ownership of the work. See correspondence, March 5, 1975, February 19, 2001, and March 5, 2001. Also see, Maria Jawlensky, Lucia Pieroni-Jawlenksy, et. al., Alexej von Jaawlensky: Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings, vol. 1, London: Sotheby's Publications, 1991, no. 376, pp. 298-299; Clemens Weiler, Alexej Jawlensky, Kölh: M. Du Mont Schauberg, 1959; and idem, Jawlensky: Heads, Faces, Meditations, New York: Praeger Publishers, 1971.

[2] The Redfern Gallery, London, stated in a letter of May 20, 1975, that they acquired the painting from Madame Lea Jaray. Recent correspondence with Jaray's relatives indicates that she conducted much of her art business in the 1950s at St. George's Gallery, London; however, there is no indication that the painting has any association with that gallery. See correspondence, March 3, 2001.

[3] Seated Woman was with the Redfern Gallery by at least 1956 when it was exhibited there in A. Jawlensky, May 2 to June 2, 1956, no. 1. The gallery subsequently loaned the work to several exhibitions during its fifteen-year ownership period. The painting had reportedly gone to Morocco with gallery director Rex de Nan Kivell, but recent correspondence with the gallery clearly states that painting remained housed at the London gallery and did not travel to Morocco.

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