Abstract Head: Symphony in Pink, Alexej von Jawlensky
Alexej von Jawlensky
Abstract Head: Symphony in Pink
Back to top

Alexej von Jawlensky

Abstract Head: Symphony in Pink, 1929

36.6 x 27.7 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas, mounted on cardboard
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1932 as a gift from Robert von Hirsch, withdrawn 1933, restituted 1964
On display, 1st upper level, Modern Art, room 15


About the Work

Dot, dot, comma, dash... Although the painting is reduced to a minimum as regards form, Jawlensky's 'Abstract Head: Symphony in Pink' and other such works are simple only at first sight. The artist, a member of the Blauer Reiter group, associated works of this kind with his search for a universally valid archaic image of the human face. Jawlensky began his series of 'Abstract Heads' in 1918. They comprise 251 works which alternate between abstraction and figuration. The deeply pious Russian saw himself as continuing in the tradition of Russian and Byzantine art and intentionally referenced icon paintings in his work.

About the Acquisition

When Robert von Hirsch (1883–1977) began to collect art at the age of twenty-four, his interest was in Impressionism and modern art. In the 1920s he began to include works by the Old Masters, such as Dürer, Raphael, Rubens and Rembrandt. His house in Bockenheimer Landstrasse was a popular meeting point for art lovers in Frankfurt, until von Hirsch emigrated to Basel in 1933. He continued to feel a close link with the Städel from his exile in Switzerland.

Audio & Video

  • Basic information
  • Focus on religion
  • Gastkommentar: Neuronale Netzwerke in der Kunst mit Hirnforscher Moritz Helmstaedter
    Was sieht ein Hirnforscher in den Werken der Städel Sammlung? In diesem Gastkommentar eröffnet DR. Moritz Helmstaedter (Direktor und Wissenschaftliches Mitglied am Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung in Frankfurt) seine Sichtweise auf die Kunstwerke im Städel Museum. Er schaut sich Paul Cézannes "Landschaft. Straße mit Bäumen im Felsgebirge" (1870–1871), Alexej von Jawlenskys "Abstrakter Kopf: Sinfonie in Rosa" (1929) sowie Richard Oelzes "Archaisches Fragment" (1935) unter Berücksichtigung verschiedener neurowissenschaftlicher Wahrnehmungstheorien an. Mehr Infos unter: https://www.staedelmuseum.de/de/angebote/gastkommentar Die Werke in unserer Digitalen Sammlung Paul Cézanne, Landschaft. Straße mit Bäumen im Felsgebirge (1870–1871): https://sammlung.staedelmuseum.de/de/werk/landschaft-strasse-mit-baeumen-im-felsgebirge Alexej von Jawlensky, Abstrakter Kopf: Sinfonie in Rosa (1929): https://sammlung.staedelmuseum.de/de/werk/abstrakter-kopf-sinfonie-in-rosa Richard Oelze, Archaisches Fragment (1935): https://sammlung.staedelmuseum.de/de/werk/archaisches-fragment

Work Data

Basic Information

Abstract Head: Symphony in Pink
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas, mounted on cardboard
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Monogrammiert unten links: A. J.
Datiert unten rechts: 29
Signiert, bezeichnet und datiert verso oben rechts: A. Jawlensky Symphonie in Rosa 1929

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquired in 1932 as a gift from Robert von Hirsch, withdrawn 1933, restituted 1964

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif
Associated Persons and Institutions


  • 0 Abstract, Non-representational Art
  • 31A221(+1) head (human) (+ front view)

Research and Discussion


Object History
Erworben von Robert von Hirsch (1883-1977), Frankfurt als Jahresgabe der Vereinigung der Freunde der Kunst von Alexej von Jawlensky, Wiesbaden
Schenkung an das Städelsche Kunstinstitut, 1932
lt. Inventarbuch "zurückgegeben," vermutlich 1933
lt. Inventarbuch "Rückgabe aufgehoben" und "seit 1964 wieder in der Galerie ausgestellt."


Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.

The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.

Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:

  • the type of acquisition and/or the way the object changed hands
  • the owner's name and place of residence
  • the date on which it changed hands

The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.

Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the museum at .

More to discover


Do you have any suggestions, questions or information about this work?

Last update