Emil Orlik

Portrait of Albert Einstein

etching, proof impression, 5th state



Emil Orlik (Prague 1870 - 1932 Berlin)

Portrait of Albert Einstein


proof impression of 5th state

24 x 19,7 cm (plate), 39,8 x 29,3 cm (sheet)


signed and dated lower right in pencil: Orlik 1923

inscribed lower left: 5. Zustand eigenh. Druck [5th state, impression by artist's own hand]

A rare proof impression, brilliant and of the highest quality.


Collection Heinrich Stinnes (1867-1932) (collector's stamps, lower left, Lugt 4437 and Lugt 1376 d)

Private collection, Switzerland


"Orlik knew Einstein from Berlin and had portrait photographs sent from America for the etching. Along with Peter Behrens, Marc Chagall, Arnold Schönberg and Franz Werfel, Einstein was one of the influential members of the Board of Trustees of the Bauhaus Circle of Friends [Kuratorium des Bauhaus-Freundeskreises]."  B

The experimental confirmation of the theory of relativity in November 1919 had made front-page news across the world, and made Einstein arguably the most famous scientist in history.  Orlik's 1923 etching is one of the earliest attempts to commercialize an artistic image of Einstein.


For the second state, see Franz Matsche, ed., Emil Orlik: Zeichnungen und Druckgraphik von 1889-1932 (Munich and Bonn: Adalbert Stifter Vereins, Munich, Staedtisches Kunstmuseum, Bonn, and Villa Stuck, Munich, 1972), Kat. 222, pgs. 122 (ill.) - 123.
Jack Daulton
The Daulton Collection
Los Altos Hills, California

Instagram: @thedaultoncollection