Lot 16
  • 16

Egon Schiele

250,000 - 350,000 GBP
565,250 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Egon Schiele
  • watercolour and black crayon on paper


Eva & Otto Freund, Prague (acquired from the artist)
Thence by descent to the present owner

Catalogue Note

Eva Freund (née Gallus), the sitter of the present work, was a renowned opera singer in Prague in the early twentieth century. Her striking facial features certainly fascinated the young Schiele, who executed another two portraits of her (fig. 1). However Schiele, who was according to Jane Kallir a notoriously sloppy speller, incorrectly recorded her name as Aga Gallus. In the present work, Schiele beautifully combined his skills as a draughtsman, visible in the depiction of the woman's face, and those of a colourist, evident in the treatment of her fashionable wide-brimmed hat.


In technical terms, Schiele's work in 1910 marks a major turning point in his artistic development. Jane Kallir noted about his watercolours from this period: 'Pigment is scored by the flow of water and the tug of the brush in a manner that is more directly responsive to the contours of the surrounding drawing than to the dictates of three-dimensional likeness. [Schiele] juxtapositions flat shapes with brightly mottled flesh tints [and his] drawings derive their primary structure simply from the negative space around the figure. It is apparent that Schiele wants to achieve an unbroken flow of pigment within broader, conceptually self-contained areas. By varying the density of his washes and allowing different colours to blend or overlap, he is able to produce a variety of effects' (J. Kallir, Egon Schiele: The Complete Works, New York, 1998, p. 391).    

Fig. 1, Egon Schiele, Bildnis Aga Gallus, Prag, 1910, watercolour and black crayon on paper, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna