I’ve been wanting to post something by Richard Müller for ages but up until recently I couldn’t find anything that really fit the blog’s theme. There were some lovely images of boys, including Boy with Snake and David and Goliath, but nothing featuring girls. That was unfortunate, because I really love Müller’s work. He was a German Symbolist and surrealist painter and illustrator, born in what used to be Tschirnitz, Bohemia (now Cernovice nad Ohra, Czech Republic). At fourteen he began attending the School of the Royal Saxon Porcelain Manufactory in Meissen, Germany. Post-graduation, he entered the Art Academy in Dresden, eventually becoming an instructor at the very same academy. Under the Nazis, Müller, after 35 years as an influential professor and a couple years as president of the Academy, eventually lost his position due to his “subversive tendencies”—any artist who annoyed the Nazis is okay in my book.
Anyway, I thought I’d never get to post anything by Müller here. But then I happened upon this glorious work, Liegender Mädchenakt auf Diwan, which exceeded any expectations I could’ve had for anything suitable for Pigtails. Not only does it feature a beautifully painted nude young girl but the size and quality of the image was exceptional. In fact, this is reduced to forty percent of the original size, and I had to downsize it by about 500 kilobytes as well. If you want the full-sized image just Google the title; it should come up.
What I particularly fancy about this image is the girl’s pose, which strikes just the right balance between formal stiffness and relaxation: the legs crossed at the ankles, the way her right hand casually toys with her hair, the little pudgy rolls of flesh around her hips, even the look on her face, which could be boredom or sleepiness, gives this girl a humanity and familiarity without pushing her into tawdriness or sexual suggestiveness. She’s a child who is only just becoming aware of her feminine appeal. The silky, dark green ribbons tied into her loosely-braided hair contrasts nicely with the warmth and texture of her skin too. A truly lovely piece.