Erich Heckel, Self-portrait with model, 1916
Erich Heckel, Self-portrait with model, 1916

Erich Heckel  (1883 -1970)

Self-portrait with model, 1916

In 1916 Erich Heckel was based in Flanders as a corpsman. The homely and intimate scene that he chose for his self-portrait does not show any reference to World War 1 though. Paper and pen at hand he is sitting with his wife Sidi Riha at the table in his Berlin studio during a home leave. His face with the remarkable high forehead shows an expression of thoughtfulness and melancholy. The turning towards the private and mental interior in this painting is typical for Heckel’s art since he had moved from Dresden to Berlin in 1911. At the same time his compositions became more severe and less colorful. Besides the different tones of brown and ocher the present watercolor shows only little color accentuation too. A colorful striped arras focusses on the back and is accompanied by a small yellow nude sculpture, which shows Heckel’s interest in non-European art. The disproportionate shape of his head and the mask-like and square-cut facial features also reflects this interest.

Self-portrait with model
Gouache and wax crayon on Ingres paper
51,5 x 37,8 cm
purchased by means of Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin, 1976

© Estate Erich Heckel, D-78343 Hemmenhofen