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Self-Portrait

Egon Schiele (Austrian, Tulln 1890–1918 Vienna)

Date:
1911
Medium:
Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paper
Dimensions:
20 1/4 x 13 3/4in. (51.4 x 34.9cm) Frame: 29 x 23 x 1 1/2 in. (73.7 x 58.4 x 3.8 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Scofield Thayer, 1982
Accession Number:
1984.433.298ab
  • Description

    Egon Schiele's career was short, intense, and amazingly productive. Before succumbing to influenza in 1918 at the age of twenty-eight, he created over three hundred oil paintings and several thousand works on paper. The human figure provided Schiele with his most potent subject matter for both paintings and drawings. The self-portraits of his large series of watercolors and paintings produced between 1910 and 1918-of which this one is a prime example-are searing, psychologically complex images. The emaciated, tortured figure of the artist, bony and angular, bristles with an inner tension made visible by the agitated pencil line and painted white surrounding aura. Schiele stares wildly, his large, dark eyes glaring menacingly, his mouth open, and his shock of hair standing on end. In a pose suggestive of the crucified Christ, his arm is thrust out awkwardly and bent sharply at the elbow. Color is limited to shades of brown, with only certain areas of the body (mouth, nipples, navel, and genitals) tinted red.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Signature: Initialed and dated (lower left): E.S./1911

  • Exhibition History

    Vienna, Austria: Albertina, December 5, 2005-March 19, 2006, Egon Schiele.
    p.157, plate 71, illus. in color, see "self portrait" discussion.

    Belvedere Museum, Vienna. "Egon Schiele: Self Portraits and Portraits," February 17–June 13, 2011, no. 38.

  • References

    Kallir, Jane. Egon Schiele, The Complete Works: Including a Biography and Catalogue Raisonne. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. London: Thames and Hudson, 1990. No. 953 (recto) pl. 23, p. 456/No. 953, pl. 24 (verso).

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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