Mystical Head: Galka

Mystical Head: Galka
Alexei Jawlensky (Russian, 1864-1941)
Oil and pencil on tan textured cardboard 
15-1/2 x 12 in. (39.4 x 30.5 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Museum, The Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Museum 
Not on View

The magnificent collection of Jawlensky paintings came to the Norton Simon Museum from the collection of Emmy (Galka) Scheyer, a lifelong friend and promoter of the artist's work. A 1916 visit to an exhibition of Jawlensky's paintings prompted art student Emmy Scheyer to meet the artist; in 1917 she spent several months with his family in Switzerland, where she served as a model for his new group of portraits. Jawlensky frequently talked about the spiritual language of painting. This head, with its tilted pose, its prominent eyes, brow, and line of the nose, as well as its richness of surface, is reminiscent of the religious imagery of the artist's Russian youth. Scheyer returned to Germany in 1919; it was during this period of separation that Jawlensky wrote to her of a dream he had experienced in which she appeared to him in the form of a bird. From that time on, Jawlensky referred to her as "Galka," the Russian word for blackbird.


The artist, until 1957;
Clemens Weiler, Wiesbaden, by 1957-January, 1967;
Siegfried Adler, Lugano, sold 1968 to;
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, until 1975;
Norton Simon Museum, 1975.

Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via email. Requests can also be made by fax or mail.

Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.

Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.

Please fill our our Online Reproduction Request Form or download the Application for Reproduction Permission PDF Form and submit it to the Office of Rights and Reproductions.

E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: (626) 449-6840 x 3300
Fax: (626) 796-4978

Additional Artwork by Artist