Lot 43
  • 43

Egon Schiele

Estimate
1,500,000 - 2,000,000 USD
Sold
2,050,000 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • Egon Schiele
  • Frauenbildnis mit Blauem und Grünem Halstuch (Portrait of a Woman with Blue and Green Scarf)
  • Signed Egon Schiele and dated 1914 (lower right); indistinctly inscribed (lower left)  
  • Gouache and pencil on paper

Provenance

Galerie St. Etienne, New York

Private Collection, New York (sold: Sotheby’s, London, December 1, 1992, lot 11)

Acquired at the above sale

Literature

Jane Kallir, Egon Schiele: The Complete Works, New York, 1990, no. D 1595, illustrated p. 534

Jane Kallir, Egon Schiele: The Complete Works, New York, 1998, no. D 1595, illustrated p. 534

Catalogue Note

In this exquisite gouache from 1914 we can see the fascination that Schiele took in rendering the model's particular posture and the power of her physical presence. While he entirely omits her lower body, he emphasizes the strong contours of her shoulders to evoke the tension in her muscles, particularly her outstretched arms and clenched hands that seem to be pressed against a hard surface. The deep umber tonality of the woman's hair, as well as her red highlighted lips and bright blue coloration of her blouse are characteristic of the new coloristic developments in the artist's work of 1914. As Jane Kallir points out: “Perfecting an approach, traceable to 1913, that he will pursue for the rest of his life, Schiele uses a translucent underglaze of ochre or brown to define principle volumes, then superimposes dabs of red, green, and blue to mold an almost palpable bulk” (J. Kallir, op. cit., p. 520).

“Perhaps more so than any other year,” J. Kallir notes, “1914 demonstrates the manner in which, for Schiele, radical aesthetic means serve as a mask for conservative ends. The rickrack embellishment of favorite features such as armpits or hair reaches an unprecedented frenzy by late spring... the practice of edging flesh in contrasting tones of red, green and ochre continues in the early part of the year, and these modelled areas are characteristically set off against flat, brightly colored patches of drapery or clothing ... Gradually the multi-hued brushstrokes become bolder, with colors overlapping to sculpt denser volumes” (ibid.op. cit., p. 520).

Kallir also comments on the placement of the models in these drawings, noting the psychological implications that they held for the artist: “Schiele's growing concern with plasticity eventually generates a more organic, fluid line ... There are hints of an almost conventional realism in the simplification of line and in the integration of contour and volume. As a result, skewed perspective - always an influence of the poses - now assumes a more disturbing character. The relative two-dimensionality of his preceding style aesthetically neutralized Schiele's affinity to spatial dislocation, but the increased volumetric density of his work from 1914 on seems to demand a concomitant realism. By refusing to bow to this demand and doggedly persisting in signing drawings of recumbent figures as verticals, Schiele intentionally creates a spatial unease that heightens the work's totemic impact” (ibid., p. 520).

Close