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EGON SCHIELE | Auf dem Bauch liegendes Mädchen (Girl Reclining on Stomach)

500,000 - 700,000 GBP
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  • Egon Schiele
  • Auf dem Bauch liegendes Mädchen (Girl Reclining on Stomach)
  • signed with the initial S (lower right)
  • watercolour and black crayon on paper
  • 31.2 by 45.3cm.
  • 12 1/4 by 17 7/8 in.
  • Executed in 1910.


Daisy Hellmann (née Steiner), Vienna (acquired by 1938) Thence by descent to the present owners


Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele: Zum Gedächtnis ihres Todes vor 50 Jahren, 1968, no. 135, illustrated in the catalogue


Jane Kallir, Egon Schiele: The Complete Works, London, 1998, no. 479, illustrated p. 402

Catalogue Note

Auf dem Bauch liegendes Mädchen dates from 1910, the year regarded as a major turning-point in Schiele’s art. After leaving the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts in 1909, he began to develop his own distinct style and gradually turned away from the influence of his mentor, Gustav Klimt. Schiele’s fine draughtsmanship had long been praised and admired while he was a student working with the young artists in Neukunstgruppe, but now, as he emerged as an individual artist with supreme creative talent, his drawings became more pronouncedly daring in their subjects and their execution. Jane Kallir has made the following observation of this defining point in Schiele’s life: ‘Barely twenty at the time, Schiele evidenced a precocity that is rare among painters, who generally undergo a more protracted period of apprenticeship. As a result, he was able to give creative voice to adolescent anxieties, that, though universally compelling, are almost always repressed by older artists’ (J. Kallir, Egon Schiele, Drawings and Watercolors, New York, 2003, p. 70). The model for this drawing is Gertrude ‘Gerti’ Schiele (later Gertrude Peschka), the artist’s younger sister who was sixteen years old at the time Schiele created this work. As he did not have much access to female models at this early point in his career, the artist often tuned to Gerti who posed for him in various stages of undress. The resulting images of Gerti are exquisite drawings of the female form, sometimes depicted in the nude, at other times accentuated with stylish elements of her wardrobe. Jane Kallir observed: ‘By 1909, there was no question that, among all his family members, Gerti was Egon’s favorite model. […] In the morning he was at her bedside, clock in hand, to wake her. At the count of three, she had to be up and ready to pose’ (J. Kallir, Egon Schiele’s Women, Munich, London & New York, 2012, p. 54).

In the present work Gerti is depicted with a palpable sense of intimacy and tenderness. Rather than overtly posing for the artist, she is captured in a moment of quiet repose or daydream, her elevated position on the sheet accentuating a distance between the sitter and the viewer. Like many other drawings that Schiele executed around the same time, this work demonstrates his interest in the balance of negative and positive spaces and the interplay of solids and voids. The artist would often reserve the colouring for the figure and would leave the background of the composition virtually untouched.