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Artist Self-Portrait
1946 Mixed-Media Painting


Leo Saal 

This 1946 mixed-media on paper self portrait is by Russian-born artist Leo Saal (1912-1996). Saal was born in Petrograd (now Saint-Petersburg), Russia shortly before the Bolshevik Revolution. He endured three years in The Gulag, and was captured by Germany during WWII. He worked in the circus and theater and was trained in photography and filmmaking. He moved to Washington DC when he was invited to work for the CIA in 1953. Throughout all this, and over six decades, Saal managed to draw, sketch, do printmaking, make collages and paint - often inspired by early references to turn-of-the-century Russian paintings. Recurring themes were frequently related to European history, the circus metaphor, mother and child, and the beach. Saal was primarily self-taught and created thousands of pieces with strong influences from Beckman, Picasso, Manet, Feininger, Velasquez and Goya.

Mixed-media on paper
14.5"x16.5" framed, 6.25"x8.5" unframed

Initialed and dated lower right. Excellent vintage condition. Framed in a restored vintage wood frame with a white center and dark green edges using archival linen matting behind conservation clear glass.