Head of Christ, Arnulf Rainer
Arnulf Rainer
Head of Christ
DE
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Arnulf Rainer

Head of Christ, 1980


Blatt
392 x 296 mm
Physical Description
Brush in grey and black, watercolour in greyish and reddish brown and blue, wax crayon in black, traces of scratching and incisions, stylus lines on black-and-white photograph
Inventory Number
SG 3395
Object Number
SG 3395 Z
Status
Can be presented in the study room of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)

Texts

About the Work

Arnulf Rainer increasingly widened the lines of his Centralizations (to the right) to the point where they merged to form solid zones of colour. He initially covered his own works with them and referred to the results as “obscurations” or “overdrawings”. In 1977 he began overdrawing photographs of death masks, later those of faces and, as in this work, depictions of the countenance of Christ. He shrouded the visage of the Crucified One in circular strokes, nearly obliterating it, while at the same time emphasizing the head form and some of the conspicuous features of the face, so that the latter remains recognizable as such. Through obscuration it has been transformed into a new picture.

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Head of Christ
Draughtsman
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Brush in grey and black, watercolour in greyish and reddish brown and blue, wax crayon in black, traces of scratching and incisions, stylus lines on black-and-white photograph
Material
Technique
Geographic Reference
Production Reason
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert unten rechts (mit Bleistift): A Rainer
Captions Added Later
Verso Stempel der Städtischen Galerie, Frankfurt am Main (Lugt 2371c)
Watermark
  • Nicht vorhanden

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Creditline
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
© Arnulf Rainer

Work Content

Motifs and References

Iconclass

Primary
  • 0 Abstract, Non-representational Art
  • 11D3 Christ as adult
  • 31A221(+1) head (human) (+ front view)
  • 22C4(BLACK) colours, pigments, and paints: black

Research and Discussion

Provenance

Object History
Kunsthandel Deutschland
erworben von der Städtischen Galerie, Frankfurt am Main, 1988.

Information

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.

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Last update

25.08.2020