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    Sale 7703

    Impressionist/Modern Works on Paper

    5 February 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 135

    Egon Schiele (1890-1918)

    Junge im grünen Mantel (Boy in Green Coat)

    Price Realised  


    Egon Schiele (1890-1918)
    Junge im grünen Mantel (Boy in Green Coat)
    signed 'EGON SCHIELE and inscribed '08' (incorrectly dated) (lower left), possibly by another hand
    gouache and black crayon on paper
    17½ x 12 in. (44.2 x 30.8 cm.)
    Executed in 1910

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    Executed in 1910, Junge im grünen Mantel dates from a period when Egon Schiele began to draw young children with recurring frequency. He found his models amongst the vagrant children of Vienna's slums, choosing them not merely because they could be convinced to pose for a pittance, but because their relaxed, unselfconscious and uninhibited behavior allowed him to observe true human nature stripped of all the pretense and convention of Imperial Viennese society. It was in this year that the young artist would also achieve a major stylistic breakthrough in his art, arriving at a unique combination of naturalistic rendering and expressive stylization that derived from his earlier experiments with Jugendstil formalism.

    Barely twenty years old, Schiele had learned to perfect a line that was both accurate and charged with emotion. Junge im grünen Mantel is a graphic representation of great intensity, in which Schiele has confidently and concisely captured his subject in a way that demonstrates his gift for acute observation. The boy cocks his head like a curious animal, his limpid eyes staring earnestly at the viewer whilst his oversized coat protectively conceals all other body language. The viscose medium of gouache allowed Schiele to experiment with greater textual variety, which is beautifully explored in the loose swathes of blue pigment that animate the coat's otherwise solid plane of colour. The encircling 'body halo' of opaque white gouache so frequently applied to Schiele's early watercolours is not only used to intensify the psychological impact of his subject, but also as a way of isolating his figures on the page. By leaving the surrounding negative space blank, Schiele instils the work with a sense of existential alienation, a vision provoked as much by his own perception of himself as much as what he perceived in the sitters themselves.

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    Wolfang Gurlitt.
    A. Turner, London.
    Acquired at the above by the present owner in February 1991.

    Pre-Lot Text



    J. Kallir, Egon Schiele: The Complete Works, London, 1998, no. 452 (illustrated p. 399). The signature and the date of the work are further discussed in Appendix B, pp. 688 and 689.


    Turin, Galatea Galleria d'Arte Contemporanea, Schiele, June - July 1963, no. 1.