May 4, 2016

Portrait of a Man

Portrait of a Man


Erich Heckel

(German, 1883–1970)

Color woodcut

Image: 46 x 32.6 cm (18 1/8 x 12 13/16 in.); Sheet: 69.9 x 55.7 cm (27 1/2 x 21 15/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1991.109

Catalogue raisonné: Dube 318




In this portrait, made one year after World War I ended, Erich Heckel inscribed his own face with the traumas and uncertainties of the period. The woodcut’s jagged angles and broad surfaces distill his facial features while still maintaining a likeness, resulting in the essence of an emotionally disturbed state. The green face further relays the sitter’s spiritual and physical trauma. Heckel first printed the black areas of the block, and then brushed the three colors onto a different block before printing them.

See also
PR - Woodcut
Type of artwork: 
Color woodcut

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