Jan Müller Faust, I 1956

  • Not on view

Facing persecution by the Nazis, Müller's family fled Germany in 1933, moving throughout Europe before finally arriving in the United States in 1941. During this difficult and unstable period he developed rheumatic fever, a condition that led to his premature death at the age of thirty-five, at the height of his artistic production. During his short yet intense career,

Müller produced large-scale allegorical paintings, in which the tenets of abstraction are brought together with themes from great works of literature. Inspired by medieval panels, Müller conceived human forms that embody morality, virtue, or vice. In Faust, I, ghostly white figures surround and protect Faust from Mephistopheles, cloaked in black. One figure lifts a green mask from her face, revealing her featurelessness.

Gallery label from Soldier, Spectre, Shaman: The Figure and the Second World War, October 24, 2015-March 20, 2016.
Oil on canvas
68 1/8" x 10' (173 x 304.7 cm)
Object number
Painting and Sculpture

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