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Max Liebermann

(1847–1935, Berlin)

Girl Reading. Lithograph on Van Gelder Zone laid paper. 1896. 30.5 x 24.3 cm. Signed. 1896. Schiefler 41 a (of b).

This intimate, sensitively observed depiction shows a young woman completely absorbed in the book she is reading. The right strap of her shirt has slipped to reveal her naked shoulder. This typical Liebermann scene is far from being frivolous, however. On the contrary, it is notable for its meditative tranquillity and affectionate seriousness. The warm light gives the scene a great naturalness. The girl’s upswept hair, her complexion and the different textures of her clothing are rendered with great graphic delicacy. The extremely subtle and varied linework reflects a remarkable freedom of graphic expression and produces delicate surface patterns. A superbly nuanced impression in black, before the multicolour printing from four stones. Minimal traces of handling, otherwise in excellent condition.

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