Portrait Arrangement, 1914
Born in Maine, Marsden Hartley (American, 1877-1943) studied art in Cleveland and New York City before traveling to Europe in 1912. While there, Hartley experimented with Cubism and was in contact with the German Expressionist painters known as The Blue Rider. At the outbreak of World War I, Hartley, fascinated by the pageantry of the German army, began to include military imagery in his paintings. Portrait Arrangement combines a portrait, rural landscape elements, and abstracted forms or symbols such as stars and birds. Hartley’s military-themed paintings became increasingly abstract and lost their initial optimism as the war took more and more young lives.
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Marsden Hartley, Portrait Arrangement, 1914. Oil on canvas. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Museum Purchase.