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A stained-glass window panel of a woman with animals and floral designs.

The stained-glass window shows a standing woman in a full-length blue robe with a red and blue shawl, her hands are raised to her head, she looks to the right. Brown deer-like animals surround her on both sides, the animals to her right have horns, the animals to the left do not. There are floral-like designs to her left at chest height. The panel border are half-moon shapes edged in white with a small edging of red, the center of the half-moon is dark blue. The figure’s bare feet straddle two of the half-moon shapes at the panel’s base.

Gallery Text

Many expressionists had a background in the arts and crafts movement and continued to work in the applied arts throughout their careers. Pechstein, a member of the Brücke who also showed with the Berlin Secession, made mosaics and site-specific murals, and worked in stained glass in addition to painting, sculpture, drawing, and printmaking. Like Heckel’s painted triptych nearby, this rare surviving example of a window by the artist exemplifies expressionist interest in sacral art forms and in a German tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. With its single prominent figure, the work is reminiscent of depictions of saints. Surrounded by four small deer and decorative floral motifs, the woman wears red and blue robes like those typically associated with the Virgin Mary. The artist used both structural leading and paint to accentuate the figure’s contours and further define its details. Although this work’s intended site, if there was one, is unknown, Pechstein designed similar pieces for specific architectural spaces; he also displayed them at exhibitions.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Max Pechstein, German (Eckersbach, near Zwickau, Germany 1881 - 1955 West Berlin, Germany)
Manufactured by Gottfried Heinersdorff
Woman with Animals
Other Titles
Original Language Title: Frau mit Tieren; Sommer; The Tahitian Woman
Stained Glass
Work Type
stained glass
c. 1912
Persistent Link


Level 1, Room 1510, Modern and Contemporary Art, Disrupt the View: Arlene Shechet at the Harvard Art Museums
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Physical Descriptions

Leaded stained glass
186 x 89.5 cm (73 1/4 x 35 1/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: in paint, l.l.: MPechstein 1912


Recorded Ownership History
Collection of the artist, gift; to Rudolf Scheffler, Berlin/New York (1924-1973), gift; to Alfred Einert, (1973-1994), gift; to the Busch-Reisinger Museum

FN: Scheffler was a friend and colleague of Pechstein's, who also worked in stained glass and sometimes shared a studio with Pechstein. The whereabouts of the window from 1912 to the mid-1920s are not certain, but Scheffler's family believes he brought it with him when he moved to New York in the mid-1920s.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of the Einert Family in memory of Rudolf Scheffler and Linda Einert Scheffler
© Max Pechstein / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Germany
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art

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Publication History

  • Gottfried Heinersdorff, Die Glasmalerei: ihre Technik und ihre Geschichte, Bruno Cassirer (Berlin, 1914)
  • James Cuno, Alvin L. Clark, Jr., Ivan Gaskell, and William W. Robinson, Harvard's Art Museums: 100 Years of Collecting, ed. James Cuno, Harvard University Art Museums and Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (Cambridge, MA, 1996), pp. 336-337, repr. color
  • Masterpieces of world art : Fogg Art Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1997
  • Peter Nisbet and Joseph Koerner, The Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, ed. Peter Nisbet, Harvard University Art Museums and Scala Publishers Ltd. (Cambridge, MA and London, England, 2007), p. 166

Exhibition History

Verification Level

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