Happy birthday, Marsden Hartley! Born on this day in 1877, Hartley traveled widely and painted in various styles. Whether he was creating a landscape, still life, or portrait, Hartley tried to capture what he called “the livingness of appearances.”
Hartley spent time in Germany during World War I, when he painted a series of works sometimes called the German Officer paintings. Painting, Number 5 (1914-15) is a composite portrait of Karl von Freyburg, a young German officer who was killed in the war. Symbols related to his identity and personality combine like puzzle pieces. It appears on the Modern Art in America stamp sheet.
Painting, Number 5, 1914-1915. Oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 31 3/4 inches. (100.33 x 80.65 cm). Whitney Museum of Art, New York; gift of an anonymous donor 58.65