Lot 4
  • 4

Egon Schiele

Estimate
1,000,000 - 1,500,000 USD
Sold
bidding is closed

Description

  • Egon Schiele
  • Blondes Mädchen im Unterhemd (Blond Girl in Underwear)
  • Signed Egon Schiele and dated 1913 (center right)
  • Gouache and pencil on paper
  • 18 3/8 by 12 3/8 in.
  • 46.5 by 31 cm

Provenance

Private Collection (sold: Sotheby's New York, November 12, 1988, lot 156)

Acquired at the above sale

Literature

Jane Kallir, Egon Schiele: The Complete Works, New York, 1998, no. 1243, illustrated p. 493

Catalogue Note

This arresting image marks an important change that occured in Schiele's art during this period.  Discussing his works on paper from 1913, Jane Kallir explained: "This year [...] produces one of the most profound changes of the artist's career: the switch from two-dimensional to three-dimensional orientation, which will shape his drawing style for good.  In keeping with his Jugendstil conditioning, Schiele prior to 1913 had been in thrall to the flatness of the picture plane, its negative spaces, and to the tactile qualities of pigment for pigment's sake.  Realistic verisimilitude was formerly of secondary importance only.  Now this begins to change" (J. Kallir, op. cit., p. 490). Schiele was able to render his figures three-dimensionally by depicting his models from an unusual vantage point, often from above, standing on a ladder in his studio, as might have been the case with the present work.  The use of foreshortening and the depiction of folded limbs are combined here to create a dynamic composition, with the model's tilted dramatically while engaging with the viewer.

 

The model for the present work is probably Valerie (Wally) Neuzil, identifiable by her bright, strawberry blonde hair.  Schiele met Wally in 1911, when she was seventeen years old and had already worked as a model for Klimt.  Alessandra Comini wrote about Neuzil: "A red-headed young Viennese model with haunting blue-green eyes, Wally had been sent to Schiele by Klimt, and she followed the artist from Krumau to Neulengbach, settling down with him in the small garden house there.  She became his devoted companion and mistress, posing for love and managing the more mundane aspects of the household [...].  During the years 1911 to 1914 Wally posed for scores of erotic work" (A. Comini, Egon Schiele's Portraits, Berkeley, Los Angeles & London, 1990, p. 99).

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