Nude Woman with Mirror (Mädchen vor dem Spiegel)

Nude Woman with Mirror (Mädchen vor dem Spiegel)


Karl Schmidt-Rottluff

(German, 1884-1976)

Woodcut on laid paper

Image: 50 x 39.8 cm (19 11/16 x 15 11/16 in.); Sheet: 61.7 x 50.5 cm (24 5/16 x 19 7/8 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Davis in memory of Harvey Buchanan and Penelope Draper Buchanan 2016.607

Catalogue raisonné: Reidemeister 68, repr. fig. 43



Karl Schmidt-Rottluff accentuated the material qualities of the woodblock used to make this print by leaving evidence of his gouging in the negative spaces and by emphasizing the simple, rough contours and flattened proportions of the female figure. While the traditional subject of a female nude in front of a mirror suggests an allegory of beauty or vanity, Schmidt-Rottluff’s nude avoids idealization. The model’s mask-like features and body decoration also reference tribal art, which Brücke artists admired at the Dresden ethnological museum, particularly the wooden relief carvings from Palau, Micronesia, that show similar forms and markings.

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