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Home / Great Artists / J / Alexei von Jawlensky / Biography
Biography Alexei von Jawlensky

Alexei von Jawlensky Biography


1864-1941

Russian (active in Germany) Expressionist Painter

Alexej Georgewitsch von Jawlensky (March 13, 1864 - March 15, 1941) was a Russian expressionist painter active in Germany. He was a member of the New Munich Artist's Association (Neue Kunstlervereinigung Munchen), Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) group and later the Die Blaue Vier (The Blue Four).

Life and work
Alexej von Jawlensky was born in Torzhok, a town in the department of Tver, Russia, as the fifth child of Georgi von Jawlensky and his wife Alexandra (nee Medwedewa). His family was aristocratic.

At the age of ten he moved with his family to Moscow. After a few years of military training, he became interested in painting, visiting the Moscow World Exposition c. in 1880.

In 1896 he moved to Munich where he studied in the private school of Anton Azbe. In Munich he met Wassily Kandinsky, and Marianne von Werefkin, other Russian artists and helped form the Neue Kunstlervereinigung Munchen. His work in this period was lush and richly coloured, but later moved towards abstraction with a simplified and formulaic style in a search to find the spiritual.

He died in Wiesbaden, Germany on March 15, 1941.

Legacy
In November 2003 his Schokko (Schokko mit Tellerhut) sold for US$8,296,000 and in February 2008 for £ 9,400,000 (US$18,4 million).

The 2006 album by the jazz group Acoustic Ladyland, Skinny Grin, features one of his works, Portrait of The Dancer Alexander Sacharoff, as its cover art.