• Impressionist/Modern Evening S auction at Christies

    Sale 7831

    Impressionist/Modern Evening Sale

    2 February 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 37

    Egon Schiele (1890-1918)

    Kind mit grünen Ärmel (Anton Peschka, Jr.) (recto); Frauenakt mit Händen hinter Kopf (verso)

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Egon Schiele (1890-1918)
    Kind mit grünen Ärmel (Anton Peschka, Jr.) (recto); Frauenakt mit Händen hinter Kopf (verso)
    signed and dated 'Egon Schiele 1916' (lower right; recto)
    gouache and pencil on paper (recto); pencil on paper (verso)
    19 x 12 7/8 in. (48.1 x 32 cm.)
    Executed in 1916 (recto); drawn in 1914 (verso)


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    Painted in 1916, this gouache and charcoal study of an infant depicts Schiele's nephew Anton Peschka Jr, born on the 27th December 1914, the young Anton, or 'Toni' as he was known, was the first child of Schiele's close friend and fellow artist Anton Peschka and Schiele's beloved younger sister Melanie.

    Children feature prominently in Schiele's art, not least because the artist was fascinated by the unique insight their constantly changing and developing bodies gave into the processes and passage of life. Though a family member, 'Toni' Peschka was no exception in this respect, and Schiele studied and drew the boy on numerous occasions between 1914 and 1918, even making preparations for a full-scale oil portrait of him.

    A dispassionate observer of life as what he described as its perpetual process of 'living/dying', Schiele reveled in drawing children, as he saw in them the full vitality and fierce energy of life, something that he also equated with the creative drive and powers of the artist. In his portraits of his nephew however, Schiele was less preoccupied with rendering the traumatic living/dying melancholy of existence that distinguishes so many of his often allegorical portraits of mothers and children for example, than with capturing the precise details of his nephew's features, posture and physical development. In this work painted towards the beginning of 1916, he depicts the infant child seated, but still in need of support, looking out at the world, his arms splayed out and his chubby hands still unconsciously grasping.

    The verso of this gouache and charcoal work depicts a reclining nude drawn from above, lying with her hands behind her head. Rendered in a thin, sharp, almost drypoint-like, pencil line, it is a swift and masterful study made in 1914.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    (probably) Guido Arnot, Vienna.
    Neue Galerie, Vienna.
    Galerie St. Etienne, New York.
    George Simon.
    Galerie St. Etienne, New York.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1998.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE ITALIAN COLLECTOR


    Literature

    J. Kallir, Egon Schiele: The Complete Works, New York, 1990, nos. D.1813 (recto; illustrated p. 560) and D.1515 (verso; illustrated p. 525).