A children's book illustration of a girl who sits asleep on an island, surrounded by creatures - blue birds, white deer, and red fish - in pairs, emphasising her solitude. The print uses vivid colours of blue, green, red and yellow and bold black lines. 'DIE TRÄUMENDEN KNABEN.' is read on the right hand side.
Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980), Sleeping Girl (from The Dreaming Youths), 1907 © Fondation Oskar Kokoschka/ DACS 2021. Image © The Courtauld

Sleeping Girl (from The Dreaming Youths)

Oskar Kokoschka

When he was only 21, Oskar Kokoschka was commissioned to create an illustrated children’s book, The Dreaming Youths. This is the only illustration to follow Kokoschka’s original brief before he transformed the book into a dreamlike yet violent tale of adolescent sexual anxiety. A girl sits asleep on an island, surrounded by creatures blue birds, white deer, and red fish in pairs, emphasising her solitude. Kokoschka’s limited palette of vivid colours was chosen to recall his childhood paint box. 

You might also like

Virtual Tour

Enjoy a virtual stroll through each room of The Courtauld Gallery, as it was before it closed for its current major renovation....

Exhibitions

We have partnered with national and international museums and galleries so more audiences can engage with our collection. ...

See more collection highlights

Explore The Courtauld’s remarkable collection of paintings, prints and drawings, sculpture and decorative arts.

Explore
Two men sit across from each other at a table covered with a brown tablecloth, playing cards. Both men wear overcoats and hats, and the man on the left smokes a pipe. They sit inside a wooden building. i Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) The Card Players, around 1892-96, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)

Citations