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Sale: 400 / Modern Art, Dec. 08. 2012 in Munich Lot 4

Lot description
Porträt einer Dame. 1908.
Pencil drawing.
Rechts oben signiert und datiert. Auf bräunlichem Bütten. 29,9 x 21,3 cm (11,7 x 8,3 in), blattgroß.
This work is one of the artist's earliest drawings ever offered on the international auction market.

We are grateful to Ms. Jane Kallir, Gallery St. Etienne, New York, for kindly providing us with information. The work will be registered in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné.

Egon Schiele was born in Tulln on the Danube on 12 June 1890. After the great Klimt-era Egon Schiele is the painter that strongly influenced the artistic scene of Vienna in the early 20th century. In 1906, the young Schiele entered the class of Christian Griepenkerl, a painter of portraits and historic events at the Wiener Akademie, who was still rooted very much in the traditional disciplines. The imposed studies there, which Schiele practised only reluctantly, left no significant traces in his personal artistic style. He was rather impressed by the linear, two-dimensional style of Gustav Klimt and the Vienna Secessionists, who spoke out as an artists' group against the stiff academic conventions of the historical school and in favor of a reconciliation of art and life.

This sheet counts among Egon Schiele‘s early drawings, still made during his study years at the Vienna Academy. The outstanding talents of the then merely 18 year-old can be clearly observed. With great poise Schiele outlines the figure of the depicted lady in clear lines, accentuates eyebrows- lashes, and adds an atmospheric composition to the drawing that takes it far beyond the realms of a study.

His early withdrawal from the academy in 1909 accelerated his striving for his artistic self-realisation, He joyfully founded the "Neukunstgruppe" and developed a drawing style that intentionally conjured up the impression of fragility and tension. In an anti-academic and radically subjective manner, Schiele chose perspectives and views in a way that his figures became early examples of Viennese expressionism. In 1912, the artist was imprisoned for a short period of time because of his way of painting very young nude models that was thought to be immoral. Schiele then joined the 'Bund Österreichischer Künstler' and worked for the Berlin journal 'Die Aktion' in 1913. In the following year he broke off his relationship with Wally Neuziel, whom he had been attached to for four years, and married Edith Harms. When Schiele was a soldier for two years since 1915, he painted only very few pictures. The painter however continued to take part in very many exhibitions like the Wiener Sezessionsausstellung, which became a great success in 1918 showing 50 of his works of art. Still in the same year Schiele died only shortly after his wife of a pandemic influenza on 31 October 1918. [KH]

Egon Schiele
Porträt einer Dame, 1908.
Pencil drawing
€ 40,000 / $ 45,200
€ 63,440 / $ 71.687

(incl. 22% surcharge)

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