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Self-Portrait with Hairnet, 1923

Leopold Museum,
Vienna © Bildrecht,
Vienna 2022
Oil on cardboard, mounted on cardboard
45×36 cm


  • Albert Birkle

    (Berlin 1900–1986 Salzburg)

Currently on display at EG
With irony and in caricature style, Albert Birkle (1900–1986) invokes the pictorial tradition of Renaissance portraits by depicting himself in sharply outlined profile against an Alpine landscape with lush green meadows, violet and purplish mountains and picturesque snowy peaks, and, thrown into the scenery, a little church with a bulbous spire. In this setting, the artist’s sculptured face appears somewhat bizarre, its characteristic traits heightened and painted with broad strokes in oil on cardboard, apparently fixing a focused gaze under lowered eyebrows on some point in the distance. The austere impression of his dark smock and white mandarin collar is countervailed by the depiction of the tight hairnet he is wearing, heightening the strange effect to the point of grotesquerie. Similar motivic ambivalences are found in Birkle’s oeuvre until the early 1930s—often in connection with the religious or socially critical tendencies of his New Objectivity realism.

Object data

  • Albert Birkle
Self-Portrait with Hairnet
Art movement
New Objectivity
Oil on cardboard, mounted on cardboard
45×36 cm
Signed and dated lower right: A.Birkle 34
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 6526
Inventory access
Accession 2020

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Albert Birkle, Salzburg (bis 1977);
Neue Münchner Galerie (Richard Hiepe), München (1977-1978);
Privatsammlung Deutschland (1978-2009); (1)
Auktion: 19.06.2009, Ketterer Kunst München, Auktion 350 / Moderne Kunst, Los Nr. 267; (2)
Privatsammlung Europa (2009-2020); (1)
Auktion: 04.12.2020, Villa Grisebach Berlin, Auktion 325, Los Nr. 419
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (2020); (3)

  1. Grisebach GmbH, Berlin, Katalog zur 325. Auktion, S. 73, Nr. 419
    Online unter:
  2. Ketterer Kunst GmbH, Katalog zur 350. Auktion
  3. Archiv des Leopold Museums, Grisebach GmbH, Berlin, Rechnung vom 04.12.2020

For provenance related information, please contact us.