Lot 56
  • 56

Egon Schiele

1,500,000 - 2,000,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Egon Schiele
  • Sitzender männlicher Akt mit vorgestreckter rechter Hand (Seated Male Nude, Right hand Outstretched)
  • Signed with the initial S (lower left) and inscribed Egon Schiele aus Sammlung Benesch by another hand (lower left)
  • Watercolor, black crayon and charcoal on paper
  • 17 1/4 by 12 in.
  • 43.8 by 30.5 cm


Otto Benesch, Vienna

Sale: Hassfurther, Vienna, May 26, 1979, lot 248

Sale: Sotheby's, New York, May 11, 1999, lot 132

Acquired at the above sale by A. Alfred Taubman


Jane Kallir, Egon Schiele: The Complete Works, New York, 1990, no. D.669, illustrated p. 423

Jane Kallir, Egon Schiele: The Complete Works, New York, 1998, no. D.669, illustrated p. 423

Catalogue Note

During the first months of 1910, Schiele used models drawn from his circle of friends, including Max Oppenheimer, Erwin van Osen and Karl Zakovsek.  These male nudes express many of the same concerns seen in the artist's contemporaneous self-portraits.  

Schiele’s stylistic development in 1910 was remarkable. Through countless figure studies he refined his line, while employing limpid watercolor washes to enhance and animate his models. Discussing the group of male nudes Schiele executed at this time, Jane Kallir comments: “Though the Expressionist breakthrough is heralded in some 1909 drawings, the speed and extremity of Schiele’s development in 1910  are such that his work leaves all previous efforts far behind. There is no precedent for the radical, garishly twisted nudes that appear almost at the very start of the year (nos. 644-73)” (J. Kallir, op. cit., New York, 1990, p. 391).

Schiele executed many of his most powerful gouaches of this period, including the present work, on a crisp brown paper which, with its slightly polished surface, does not easily absorb paint, thus leaving the colors to dry on the surface. The acid greens, bright reds and brilliant oranges, contained by the powerful black line he used in this work, soon became the hallmark of this 1910 style. Color is applied in isolated patches that merge and overlap only at the edges. This side-by-side clash of complementary hues gives this work a powerful effect, enhanced by the attention to detail such as the precisely drawn hair in the armpit and the hauntingly angular right hand.

This drawing was formerly in the collection of Otto Benesch (1896-1964), director of the Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna. It is inscribed ‘Egon Schiele aus Sammlung Benesch’. Otto’s father Heinrich began collecting Schiele’s work in 1910 and later divided his collection between the Sammlung Albertina and his son Otto. In 1913 Schiele painted a double portrait of them titled Double Portrait (Chief Inspector Heinrich Benesch and His Son Otto) (Kallir, no. P250).