Sunday, January 21, 2007

Egon Schiele (1890-1918)

Egon Schiele, Kauernder weiblicher Akt mit blonden Haaren 1914.

Sotheby’s sale of German & Austrian Art

to include major works by

Schiele, Kandinsky, Jawlensky & Nolde

SOTHEBYS’ SALE of German & Austrian Art on the evening of Monday, February 5, 2007 is set to be one of its strongest yet. Together, the 23 works in the sale carry a combined estimate* of £12.1-17.1 million, and among them are exceptional works by leading figures such as Egon Schiele, Wassily Kandinsky, Alexej von Jawlensky, Emil Nolde and Ludwig Meidner, illustrating every aspect of this crucial period in the development of early 20thcentury art.

Egon Schiele’s Kauernder weiblicher Akt mit blonden Haaren und aufgestütztem linken Arm (illustrated above) is a powerful and arresting image of a female nude executed in 1914 - the year in which Schiele’s obsession with the naked form reached its expressive height, when “the rickrack embellishment of favourite features such as armpits or hair reaches an unprecedented frenzy” (Jane Kallir). Schiele (1890-1918) relished depicting the curves and contours of the nude’s anatomy, and the palpable sense of energy that the artist must have felt as he rendered the form on paper is fully evident in this compelling rendition of a woman who is at once a femme fatale and a vulnerable human being. Estimated at £2,250,000-3,250,000 (€3,340,000-4,820,000) the gouache ranks among the artist’s finest works. Having remained in the same collection since the 1970s, it has never before been seen in public.

"All beautiful and noble qualities have been united in me ... I shall be the fruit which will leave eternal vitality behind even after its decay. How great must be your joy, therefore, to have given birth to me." (1913)


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