„I painted these 'Variations' [of landscapes] for some years and then I found it necessary to find form for the face, because I had come to understand that great art can only be painted with religious feeling. And that, I could only bring to the human face. I understood that the artist must express through his art, in forms and colours, the divine in him. Therefore a work of art is God made visible and art is 'a longing for God'.
I painted 'faces' for many years. I sat in my studio and painted, and I did not need nature to prompt me. It was enough for me to immerse myself in myself, to pray and prepare my soul to attain a religious state..“
— Alexej von Jawlensky
1936 - 1941, In a letter to the Dutch Fauvist painter Father Verkade, 12 June 1938; as quoted in Alexej Jawlensky, Jürgen Schultze; M. DuMont Schauberg, Cologne 1970, p. 39