Lot 44
  • 44

Egon Schiele

Estimate
1,500,000 - 2,000,000 USD
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Description

  • Egon Schiele
  • Stehendes Mädchen mit Grünem Kleid (Standing Girl with Green Dress)
  • Signed Egon Schiele and dated 1913 (lower right)
  • Gouache and pencil on paper

Provenance

Richard Nagy, London

Acquired from the above in April 2001

Catalogue Note

This arresting image marks an important change that occurred in Schiele's art during this period.  Discussing his works on paper from 1913, Jane Kallir explained: "This year [1913] 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 the Jugendstil conditioning, Schiele prior to 1913 had been in thrall to the flatness of the picture plane, the 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.  The broad, flowing lines and soft pencil leads of late 1912 continue into early 1913, as do late-1912 coloring techniques: flesh areas are dabbed with watercolor wash, drapery is edged with paint, and thicker gouache accents are applied to isolated areas such as stockings or hair. As in 1912, one finds an interest in oblique views from above, but whereas previously such poses were interpreted two-dimensionally, the models are now presented in an approximation of realistic space" (J. Kallir, Egon Schiele: The Complete Works, New York, 1990, p. 490).

In addition to changes in Schiele’s compositional arrangement, works from this period are more conservative. Following his brief spell of imprisonment in 1912 for the alleged dissemination of indecent drawings, Schiele reduced some of the sexual explicitness typical of his earlier work. As evidenced by the present work, Schiele transitioned from his provocative and explicit works, to compositions which feature fully-clothed women. In the present work, Schiele uses a bright green dress to shroud the model’s womanly figure. The model’s gaze departs from the sexualized stare of his previous models, and instead employs the virtues of gentleness and compassion. Schiele relies on his draftsmanship, utilizing taches of gouache to help to define in a more subtle manner, the contours of her body.

The subject of the present work may be Elisabeth Lederer, the daughter of one of Schiele's greatest patrons, August Lederer. Schiele executed several portraits of Elisabeth in early 1913, while visiting with the Lederer family over the holidays. August Lederer was an Austro-Hungarian industrialist who formed a close friendship and patronage with Gustav Klimt. It was Klimt who introduced Schiele to the Lederers. Because she was the daughter of his patron and host, Schiele was careful to remain within the boundaries of propriety when portraying Elisabeth, and the girl depicted here reflects this compositional restraint.
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