watercolour on paper
40 x 27 cm (15 3/4 x 10 5/8 in.)
signed and dated lower right
Itten, who had been a pupil of Adolf Hölzel, is regarded as the founder of a modern theory of colour. His concept of the "Seven Colour Contrasts" is still taught in art education today. He was professor at the Bauhaus in Weimar from 1919 to 1923. As a painter, he was primarily interested in the interrelation of form and colour. Another field of research that Itten co-founded is the colour type theory, which uses skin tone, eye and hair colour to create an assignment of certain colour tables. In his absence, Itten had his students paint their respective concepts of harmonious colours. He compared the unsigned sheets with the students' appearance and was able to assign each to the correct one. This was the basis for his insights into the effect of colours on people's facial features, which in turn influenced his painting. When the present work was created, Itten was head of the Höhere Fachschule für Textile Flächenkunst in Krefeld. After the school was closed by the National Socialists, he became director of the Kunstgewerbeschule Zürich in 1938.