The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
Russian by birth, a member of the military by profession, and a painter
by vocation, Alexei von Jawlensky (1864-1941) became one of the 20th century's
leading German Expressionists. At age 25, while stationed with his regiment
in St Petersburg he resigned his commission to enter the Academy of Art there.
He remained for 7 years, studying with Russia's leading historical painter,
Ilya Repin. But Jawlensky was disaffected by what he saw as severe constrictions
imposed by his academic training and, in 1896, along with several colleagues,
including Marianne Werefkin (who would finance much of the travel and work
of the next several years and whose maid he would marry), he left St Petersburg
for Munich. Here he found the freedom to express himself. He filled his canvasses
with color, but with a difference: Where others saw only color and line, Jawlensky
heard music. He chose his color harmonies as though writing a symphony; he
arranged them on the canvas like a maestro conducting his masterpiece.
Southgate MT. Girl With the Green Face. JAMA. 2001;285(10):1261. doi:10.1001/jama.285.10.1261