Lot 5
  • 5

Egon Schiele

Estimate
180,000 - 250,000 USD
Sold
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Description

  • Egon Schiele
  • Porträt des Komponisten Arthur Löwenstein (Portrait of the Composer Arthur Löwenstein)
  • Signed Schiele and dated 1909 (lower right) and inscribed Löwenstein (center right)
  • Colored pencil and charcoal on paper
  • 9 1/4 by 9 1/8 in.
  • 23.5 by 23.3 cm

Provenance

Sale: Gutekunst & Klipstein, Bern, November 8, 1958, lot 449

Christian M. Nebehay, Vienna (acquired at the above sale)

Thence by descent to the present owner

Exhibited

Vienna, Gustav Nebehay Kunsthandlung, Die Zeichnung: Egon Schiele, 1919, no. 19

New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, 1965, no. 49 (addenda)

Darmstadt, Mathildenhöhe, Internationale der Zeichnung, 1967, no. 6

Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, 1968, no. 131

London, Fischer Fine Art, Egon Schiele: Oils, Watercolors, Drawings and Graphic Work, 1972, no. 8

Munich, Haus der Kunst, Egon Schiele, 1975, no. 80

Literature

Alessandra Comini, Egon Schiele's Portraits, Berkeley, 1974, illustrated pl. 9

Christian Nebehay, Egon Schiele, Leben, Briefe, Gedichte, Salzburg-Vienna, 1979, fig. 50, illustrated p. 104 and fig. 213, illustrated p. 542

Erwin Mitsch, Egon Schiele, 1890-1918, Salzburg, 1988, illustrated pl. 3

Jane Kallir, Egon Schiele, The Complete Works, New York, 1998, no. 322, illustrated p. 384; fig. 28, illustrated p. 57

Catalogue Note

Arthur Löwenstein was one of the members of the Neukunstgruppe (NKG), an independent artists' collective formed in reaction to the conservative teachings of the Vienna Academy of Arts.  In 1909, Schiele 1909 persuaded Löwenstein, who was a musician, to join the group.    He rendered this portrait of the young musician in profile, seated in an armchair, that same year.   The composition was similar in format to others that Schiele had completed in 1909 of fellow NKG members, including his Klimt-inspired oil portraits of Anton Peschka (later the husband of his sister Gerti; see fig. 1) and Hans Massmann.

Porträt des Komponisten Arthur Löwenstein provides a more intimate portrayal of the sitter than the other two, more formal, oil portraits.  Using colored pencil and charcoal, Schiele embraces his own independent style and captures the fine details and contemplative nature of the young musician with his eyes closed in thought.  Alessandra Comini has commented that Schiele has rendered a serious character study here, rejecting the superficial, overly stylized figure portraits that were so common in Vienna during this era.   Comini writes, "The Löwenstein portrait is also interesting for its disclosure, unconscious perhaps, of a new formal intention of the artist:  to contravene the asymmetrical Klimt design by placing the figure directly on the centralized axis of the picture.  This urge to energize the center of a portrait -- so anti-Jugendstil in its unfluctuating and unrelieved intensity -- was to receive significant external stimulus from a variety of sources now revealed to Schiele in the momentous Vienna Kunstschau of 1909" (Alessandra Comini, op. cit., p. 32). 

Egon Schiele, Porträt des Malers Anton Peschka, 1909, oil, silver and bronze painted on canvas, sold: Sotheby's, London, February 5, 2001, lot 19

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