(Breslau 1815 - Berlin 1905)
Head of an Old Woman with a Shawl
Signed with initials and dated A.M./ 94 at the lower right.
210 x 130 mm. (8 1/4 x 5 1/8 in.)
As the Menzel scholar Marie Ursula Riemann-Reyher has commented, ‘Pencil is used in the most diverse manifestations in these exercises, from the finest and most delicate line to rough assaults which tear the surface of the paper…It was not individual destiny that he portrayed in these faces, but rather something universally human which he tried to grasp in fascination, like feelings which translated both the image and its reflection...His encounters with these people, mostly elderly and of modest means, was one of Menzel’s last essential human experiences.’
The old woman seen in this drawing must have been of particular interest to Menzel, as she appears in several other drawings by the artist. A study of the same woman, dated 1891, is in the Kunsthalle in Bremen, while the model reappears in a drawing of three old women of 1892, today in the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin.