Jeanne Mammen

A discovery

Jeanne Mammen’s artistic attention was not only caught by the people around her. She was equally capable of immersing herself in the imaginative world of literature. Her favourite writer by far was the French novelist Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880). Around 1910 she drew some colourful illustrations to his book The Temptation of St Anthony, in which the Christian hermit is exposed in the desert to many sensual and intellectual tests. In one vision he sees the Indian prince Siddartha Gautama, who obtained enlightenment as the Buddha after an ascetic lifestyle and profound meditation. Mammen visualises a multi-hued parade of fabulous monsters and seductive women, all spurned by the Buddha.

In the 1960s, now old and wise, the artist indulged her love of fantasy through her painting, and assembled glitzy chocolate and sweet wrappers into mosaics. For all the fantasy, she did not neglect social issues: the work Photogenic Monarchs was painted in 1967 during protests against the visit of the Iranian royal couple to West Berlin.

 

Berlinische Galerie

Landesmuseum für Moderne
Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur
Stiftung Öffentlichen Rechts

Alte Jakobstraße 124–128
10969 Berlin Germany

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