Head of a Girl, Paula Modersohn-Becker
Paula Modersohn-Becker
Head of a Girl
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Paula Modersohn-Becker

Head of a Girl, ca. 1905

24.5 x 21 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
SG 1138
Acquired in 1953
Not on display


About the Work

The girl stares unblinkingly past the viewer. There is no sparkle in her eyes, no smile on her lips as her sideways glance withdraws from the intimacy of the image detail. The child's unapproachability is reflected in the simplified forms: her face is positioned like a circle frontally in the rectangular frame. The closed, geometric structure of the picture lacks any narrative element, and so the girl remains caught in her earnest silence. Instead of an idealised portrait of a child, Modersohn-Becker, whose formal reduction was strongly influenced by Cézanne and Gauguin, shows an enigmatic individual.

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