Getty Buy: "Earliest Pregnant Self-Portrait"?

Elena Luksch-Makowsky, Self-Portrait of the Artist During Pregnancy, 1901

The Art Tribune reports that the Getty Museum has purchased a watercolor self-portrait of Vienna Secessionist artist Elena Luksch-Makowsky (1897-1967) from Colnaghi Elliott Master Drawings. The gallerists' write-up calls it "one of the earliest known self-portraits during full pregnancy, perhaps even the earliest." It predates Paula Modersohn-Becker's 1906 painting Self-Portrait of the Sixth Wedding Anniversary, not to mention the baby bump imagery of celebrity media. The Luksch-Makowsky portrait is executed in gouache and pencil on paper and measures 21-1/2 by 13-3/4 in.

Luksch-Makowsky's reputation has risen since two recent shows at Vienna's Belvedere Museum: 2019's "City of Women: Female Artists in Vienna 1900-1938," followed a year later by the single-artist "Elena Luksch-Makowsky: Silver Age and Secession." Russian-born, Luksch-Makowsky insisted that artist-husband Richard Luksch recognize her independence in a prenuptial agreement. Much of her work treats the ever-topical theme of juggling family with an art career.

Self-Portrait adds to fin-de-siècle Austrian drawings by Gustave Klimt and Emilie Mediz-Pelikan in the Getty collection.


Thanks to Gerald Sequeira for the tip
rhett said…
Anonymous said…
The Getty buys the most random stuff. Christies is selling masterpieces all the time and the Getty buys this with their billions?!
Anonymous said…
This artwork is an amazing example of art made by women in Vienna at the time. Just because it is not considered a masterpiece does not make it any less valuable to the canon of art history, particularly because women have so often been left out of it. I think it's amazing money is being put into this artist, and hope the Getty will continue to grow their collection with such unique works.