Count Harry Kessler, a notable figure in Germany and inspirer of the “hipster” style, was famously portrayed by Norwegian Symbolist painter and printmaker Edward Munch in 1904. The painting, titled “Count Harry Kessler,” is a portrait of the Count in a gentleman suit, held in Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany.
Munch’s paintings explored themes of life, love, fear, death, and melancholia which can be seen reflected in his various other works such as “The Scream,” “Ashes,” and “Madonna.” In this painting depicting Count Harry Kessler however Munch had portrayed the subject with calmness and composure contrary to some extent to his other paintings.
The artwork showcases an interesting blend of two different cultural influences. From one side there is Edvard much’s Norwegian background depicted through the Symbolist style used for this painting while on the other hand there is Count Henry Kessler standing as an icon for modern German culture. The piece represents a fusion between differing cultures from different parts of Europe.