About this artwork
“The times are not the same for us old folk anymore,” reads a 1923 diary entry by Lovis Corinth, who suffered a stroke in 1911 and never quite recovered. “We have lost our way . . . so sad, so very sad.” The following year, the artist created this tortured self-image; he was sixty-five, with one year left to live. An inveterate self-portraitist, Corinth produced more images of himself than almost any other artist except Rembrandt van Rijn. In this haunting gouache, he gazes at the viewer in anguish. The brooding palette portrays a deeply shadowed face— contorted, haggard, and sunk into hunched shoulders. The pain that both the diary entry and this portrait convey is curiously at odds with Corinth’s professional life, which had, in fact, been successful. Challenging traditional approaches to art, his early figure compositions, with their overt sexuality and theatrical movements, made his reputation. Later he executed intensely colored, windswept landscapes that became his most popular works. But Corinth was a deeply patriotic man, and his personal accomplishments failed to assuage the torment he experienced after Germany’s humiliation in World War I and his despair over the values of the Weimar Republic that followed.
Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Lovis Corinth
- Gouache, with possible additions in oil, on heavy ivory wove paper
- 486 × 305 mm
- Clarence Buckingham Collection