Monday, January 25, 2010

Characters on Canvas

 In this post, I feature a portrait by German painter and printmaker, Otto Dix

Portrait of the Journalist Sylvia von Harden,
mixed media on wood

Dix had met her on the street, and declared:
'I must paint you! I simply must! ... You are representative of an entire epoch!'
'So, you want to paint my lacklustre eyes, my ornate ears, my long nose, my thin lips; you want to paint my long hands, my short legs, my big feet—things which can only scare people off and delight no-one?'
'You have brilliantly characterized yourself, and all that will lead to a portrait representative of an epoch concerned not with the outward beauty of a woman but rather with her psychological condition.'[4]


  1. Yes, I saw that portrait and thought:
    Zeitgeist of the 20's epoch!

    Aloha, Friend!

    Comfort Spiral

  2. If that's a true story, it's hilarious. If he made it up, it's ingenious. Story or no story, it's a great painting of a very strange period in European history.

  3. when i saw this painting the other day, i wasn't sure what i thought about was very specific , if you know what i read the text is so helpful and lends more dimension to the painting, imho... ;)

    thanks for such an interesting choice in painter(ings)!

  4. Cloudia: :-D Yeah!

    Susan: I find a lot of humor in it as well. I'm not sure that's what Otto Dix had in mind but a lot of stuff makes me chuckle!

    Linda: I googled the subject's name and wiki actually had an entry for her. She looks quite the character and with her, a new PS feature is born: Characters on Canvas.

    To you three,

  5. I love her!!
    the set of her jaw
    and the way she holds her cigarette

  6. Sylvia's expression reminds me of how I feel when I have to get up early in the morning.

  7. Here's betting Sylvia's breath is as bad as mine after two cups of black coffee. ;-)

  8. I'm tickled by this, the painting, the anecdote, and your affinity for both.

    Gawd, I love you!


  9. CR: you are not just any ol' ex-husband, you're one of my biggest fans in a very small club! Thank you. Regards to your Susan.


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