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1Junger Mann mit Schal

Ca 1937
Painting, tempera on cardboard, 100 x 69,5 cm

Junger Mann mit Schal

The painting ”Junger Mann mit Schal” (Young man with scarf) demonstrates the influence of Pablo Picasso on Jeanne Mammen‘s work through a typical cubist manner of simplifying and abstracting forms. She completed this work after her trip to Paris, where she saw and was deeply impressed by Picasso‘s antiwar painting ”Guernica” at the World Exhibition. A young man is turned in half-profile against a blue background. His head is slightly tilted and his gaze is directed downward. Around his neck is a scarf with blue and white stripes. His arms are crossed in front of his body; he his gripping his upper arms as if trying to hold himself steady. Notable are the white rims of his eyes and his nose, which Mammen has depicted as two white columns that extend up to his forehead and beyond. In his 1985 book ”Light and Life”, Peter Fischer posits that the painting represents the young Max Delbrück, although the abstraction of the cubist style makes it impossible to distinguish personal characteristics. Here the aim is not to depict individuals but characteristics. Here the pose of the head and body is often interpreted as reflective, typical of considering the pros and cons while making a decision. Which is the situation Max Delbrück found himself in as he left for the USA in 1937.