–Born Pochlarn, Austria, March 1, 1886; died Montreux, Switzerland, February 22, 1980
Portrait of Mrs. Swoboda Listening to Variations on a Bach Fugue- no. 1 1920
Lithograph, 36 x 24 1/8″ (91.5 x 61.1 cm)
These lithographs were reproduced in Vienna in 1920 from a series of ten drawing entitled Das Konzert (The Concert). The figure represented is Camilla Swoboda (1885-1942), wife of the famous Viennese art historian Karl Swoboda. The Swobodas regularly held concerts in their home; on these occasions, Kokoschka drew approximately 30 views of the hostess’ face while she listened to the music, trying to capture her emotional reactions to each movement. He later photographed ten of these studies; these became part of a collector’s portfolio called Variationen uber ein Thema (Variations on a Theme). Here Kokoschka’s graphic hand is still nervous and flowing, with a sense of the movement of the Baroque he so admired.