Felix Nussbaum. "Portrait of an Unidentified Man, 1941"

Portrait of an Unidentified Man, 1941

A man sits next to a table, his head cradled in one hand. In the other is a withered leaf, and on the table rests a closed book. The man’s expression conveys a sense of despair and desolation. The withered leaf symbolizes the passage of time, the futility of life and the relentless approach of death, and above all, the fragility of the man’s existence. The dark hues of the picture, dominated by browns and grays, accentuate the melancholy atmosphere. The closed book represents the inability of culture to help the artist in his hopeless and desperate situation.

Gift of Dr. Paul Freund in memory of his wife Hilda, Jerusalem.

Felix Nussbaum

Portrait of an Unidentified Man, 1941

Gouache on paper
60,3 x 70 cm
Yad Vashem Art Collection