Portrait of a Lady with a Hat
  • Gabriele Münter
  • Berlin 1877 - 1962 Murnau
  • Portrait of a Lady with a Hat, ca. 1901
  • Pencil on creme paper
  • monogrammed on the lower left:
  • 254 × 187 mm
Collection Angelo Jank, Munich (1868-1940)

After first receiving lessons in a ladies’ art school in Düsseldorf, Gabriele Münter continued her studies after 1900 in Munich, where she soon met Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), who was to play a decisive role in her private as well as her artistic life. The pair experienced a felicitous creative period during the years 1906/07 in Sèvres. Back in Munich, Alexej von Jawlensky and Marianne von Werefkin joined the group, and together they discovered the idyllic Alpine foothills near Murnau for their art. This place should become Gabriele Münter’s main residence by the summer of 1920 at the latest. Previously, she was involved in the founding of the Munich New Artists’ Association (1909) as well as the founding of the Blaue Reiter (1911); in 1913, she was honoured with a solo exhibition in H. Walden’s important gallery Der Sturm in Berlin; and in her old age, she enriched the collections of the City Gallery at the Lenbachhaus in Munich through a generous endowment.

Gabriele Münter was, above all, a talented and experienced graphic artist who knew how to implement her pictorial ideas in a clear framework of lines. “He who carefully observes my paintings finds the draftsman in them” (G. Münter). She possessed the astonishing ability to reproduce her impressions of the external world in simple and contoured patterns, as this restrained study demonstrates. The sheet probably dates to 1901, when Gabriele Münter took drawing classes with Angelo Jank at the painting school of the Munich Female Artists’ Association. It already bears the artist’s stacked monogram, which she had used since the turn of the century. This sketch still conveys the carefree atmosphere of the Jugendstil style in Munich, which was in line with the elegant appearance of the young lady with her long dress and summer hat. Her left hand rests on the back of a wicker chair.

Observations as to whether this drawing would represent an early self-portrait still remain vague.