oil on canvas
69 x 112 cm (27 1/8 x 44 1/8 in.)
verso with stamp of the estate and inscribed
For more than a decade, from 1903 to 1914, August Macke created a large number of portraits of his partner and later wife Elisabeth Erdmann, oil paintings, watercolors, drawings and sketches. The title of the works does not always indicate that the sitter is Elisabeth; the nudes in particular often omit this indication. Nevertheless, Macke's wife Elisabeth is almost always easy to identify, through the characteristics of her facial features, body shapes, and hairstyle, but also through the sensitivity with which Macke portrays her or renders her as a model. "Akt liegend" (Nude lying), painted in 1912, also apparently shows Elisabeth, in an intimate private situation, in which the shawl, raised slightly by the figure lying half on her side and facing the viewer, covers little more than her legs. Macke has rendered the scene in a simple, almost delicate color scheme, with pink tones, blue and white dominating. Only the dark hair and the necklace of the nude figure set contrasting accents. Nevertheless, the painting has power and presence due to the composition and the volumes. In addition, Macke alienates the privacy of the depiction into the general by largely dispensing with individualizing facial features and a closer description of the location or other details.