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Details & Cataloguing

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Egon Schiele
1890 - 1918
NACKTES PAAR (NUDE COUPLE)
signed with the initial S and dated 1911 (centre right); stamped with the Nachlass mark on the reverse
gouache, watercolour and pencil on paper
36.5 by 52.1 cm., 14 3/8 by 20 1/2 in.
Executed in 1911.
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Provenance

Galerie St. Etienne, New York
Private Collection
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, 11th May 1994, lot 46
Purchased at the above sale by the late owner

Exhibited

Vienna, Akademie der Bildenden Kunste (& travelling), Egon Schiele, com Schuler zum Meister: Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, 1906-1918, 1984-1986, no. 47, illustrated in the catalogue
Rome, Pinacoteca Capitolina, Campidoglio (& travelling), Egon Schiele, 1984-1987, no. 110, illustrated in the catalogue

Literature

Jane Kallir, Egon Schiele: The Complete Works, New York, 1990, no. D. 964, illustrated p. 457
Jane Kallir, Egon Schiele: The Complete Works, New York, 1998, no. D.964, illustrated p. 457

Catalogue Note

This work is one of six watercolours of naked couples embracing executed during 1911 (Kallir, nos. 961-3, 971-2). Jane Kallir suggests that, while it is difficult to identify many of the female models used by Schiele at this date, '... in drawings of couples (Kallir, nos. 961-972)... it is likely that the corresponding male figure... is none other than the artist himself' (Kallir p. 43). Kallir points out the gradual changes in Schiele's drawing style at this date: 'Schiele's  1911 œuvre is distinguished by an unusual emphasis on the pictorial background which surrounds the principal figures. From the start of the year the figure (s) tend to fill the page, with pose and drapery often extended to the corners... ill-defined supporting structures — trapezoidal 'pillow's .. augment the figures' dominance of the sheet.. Perhaps in consort with his desire for more elaborate compositions, Schiele from late 1910 to mid-1911 occasionally employs a larger than normal sheet measuring approximately 22 by 14 inches....The bold lines of early 1911 gradually appear to fly apart, creating a disjointed effect that distinguishes them from those of 1910.... At the same time, the lines become softer and more delicate, the figures less jagged and boxy... harder leads contribute to the ethereal quality of Schiele's new lines' (J. Kallir, op. cit. p. 433).

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