Variation (Trees), Alexej von Jawlensky
Alexej von Jawlensky
Variation (Trees)
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Alexej von Jawlensky

Variation (Trees), 1919 – 1920

364 x 269 mm
Physical Description
Oil over pencil on paperboard
Inventory Number
Object Number
17895 Z
Acquired in 2019 as a bequest from Ulrike Crespo from the Karl Ströher Collection
Not on display


About the Work

The outbreak of World War I forced Jawlensky to leave Germany. In his exile in St Prex on Lake Geneva, he took to recording the view from his window over and over again, responding to the visual effects of the constantly changing weather, times of day, and seasons. He ended up producing hundreds of these ‘Variations’, usually several on a single day. In the process, he reduced the path, bushes, and trees to a few recurring forms and colour zones. Here he laid them out in pencil, then using a bit of oil paint to unite them in a soft harmony of pastels.

About the Acquisition

The Städel Museum has the photographer, psychotherapist, philanthropist, and long-time Frankfurt resident Ulrike Crespo (1950–2019) to thank for more than ninety works ranging from classical modernism to American pop art. The paintings, drawings, and prints by Wassily Kandinsky, Otto Dix, Oskar Schlemmer, Max Ernst, Jean Dubuffet, Cy Twombly, and others originally belonged to the holdings of her grandfather, the Darmstadt-based industrialist Karl Ströher (1890–1977), who amassed an extensive art collection after World War II.

Work Data

Basic Information

Variation (Trees)
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil over pencil on paperboard
Geographic Reference
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Monogrammiert unten rechts (Pinsel in Braun): A. J.
Verso unten links Stempel des Malpappenherstellers (?)
Captions Added Later
Verso nummeriert unten rechts (möglicherweise von Emmy Galka Scheyer, mit Farbstift): 411; daneben (mit Grafit): 8 [im Kreis]
  • Nicht vorhanden
Work Catalogues
  • Nicht im WVZ Jawlensky 1992

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquired in 2019 as a bequest from Ulrike Crespo from the Karl Ströher Collection

Work Content

Motifs and References



  • 0 Abstract, Non-representational Art

Research and Discussion


Object History
Karl Ströher (1890-1977), Darmstadt
an seine Witwe Katharina Ströher
an die Enkelin Ulrike Crespo (1950-2019), Frankfurt am Main, 1982
Vermächtnis an das Städelsche Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main, 2019.


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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