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    Sale 7562

    Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale

    4 February 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 61

    Egon Schiele (1890-1918)

    Stehender Mann (recto); Liebespaar (verso)

    Price Realised  

    Egon Schiele (1890-1918)
    Stehender Mann (recto); Liebespaar (verso)
    signed and dated 'Egon Schiele 1913' (recto, lower centre); titled 'Stehender Mann' (recto, lower right)
    gouache, watercolour and pencil on paper (recto); pencil on paper (verso)
    18 7/8 x 12½ in. (48.1 x 31.8 cm.)
    Executed in 1913


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    For Egon Schiele, the human figure was the main vehicle through which he conveyed both passion and belief. In Stehender Mann, executed in 1913, he has created an image that is filled with tensions, and these function on various levels of content and style. The sense of line itself is informed with an anxious, almost convulsive quality, a jaggedness that reveals Schiele's phenomenal draughtsmanship while also invoking a strange and frenetic energy. The subject has been shown as though in the process of putting on an item of clothing, an arrested moment that in fact gives the impression of a strange contrapposto, while also perhaps hinting at the artist's increasing interest in photography. The clothing also adds a flash of fire-like colour to the picture. Even the fact that the man has been shown with his back turned to the artist, and hence to the viewer, introduces a level of tension. This figure becomes an everyman, a faceless template upon which we impose our own ideas and identifications. As is so often the case in Schiele's pictures of male figures, Stehender Mann acts as a form of self-portrait. This is emphasised by the fact that it so closely relates to several other images of men standing wearing rags, as well as the autobiographical oil painting Begegnung, which featured prominently in the background of the 1914 portrait photograph of the artist taken by Anton Josef Trcka.

    Begegnung was one of the works in which Schiele placed himself within his own idiosyncratic mythology, as is emphasised by the fact that the painting was also known as Selbstbildnis mit der Figur eines Heiligen-- it showed the artist's encounter with a saint. This highly personalised mythology was fuelled in part by his persecution at the hands of a non-understanding public. This had resulted, the previous year, in his arrest and conviction on charges of corrupting youths by exposing them to 'indecent' images. The experience of his arrest and imprisonment had resulted in Schiele feeling like a martyr. He was suffering for the cause of art. It is this tension, this belief in his own suffering and its validity, that informs the deliberately emaciated appearance of the figure in Begegnung and, by extension, in Stehender Mann. This picture evokes the artist, still struggling financially, the victim of persecution, wearing nothing but coloured rags. And the experience of wearing rags was one that Schiele himself had known all too well following the cessation of his allowance from his uncle some time earlier. His clothes had soon fallen to tatters, heightening the sense that Schiele was a hermit-like martyr to his own cause.

    In Stehender Mann, the clothing, the material that makes up these 'rags,' provides a dense area of colour that heightens the contrasts between the flesh tones in the rest of the picture, while also picking out the small areas of red used to highlight various parts of the body. At the same time, this depicted material provides a textural counterpoint: this densely-worked area of abstract patterning, which on closer inspection reveals itself to be made up of a kaleidoscopic range of colours, heightens the visual variety of the picture and the surface. Schiele would have added this after the initial drawing, which may have been done with the use of the large mirror that featured so prominently in his apartment, rather than using a model; crucially, in his drawings, Heinrich Benesch stated that Schiele only worked from life, not from imagination. Benesch, one of Schiele's greatest patrons, left an invaluable account of the artist's working methods that provides some insight into the making of Stehender Mann:

    'The beauty of form and colour that Schiele gave us did not exist before. His artistry as draughtsman was phenomenal. The assurance of his hand was almost infallible. When he drew, he usually sat on a low stool, the drawing-board and sheet on his knees, his right hand (with which he did the drawing) resting on the board. But I also saw him drawing differently, standing in front of his model, his right foot on a low stool. Then he rested the board on his right knee and held it at the top with his left hand, and, his drawing hand unsupported, placed his pencil on the sheet and drew his lines from the shoulder, as it were. And everything was exactly right. If he happened to get something wrong, which was very rare, he threw the sheet away; he never used an eraser. Schiele only drew from nature. Most of his drawings were done in outline and only became more three-dimensional when they were coloured. The colouring was always done without the model, from memory' (H. Benesch, quoted in R. Steiner, Egon Schiele 1890-1918: The Midnight Soul of the Artist, Cologne, 1991, p. 33).

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    Serge Sabarsky, New York, by 1972.
    Private collection, by whom acquired from the estate of the above in 2003.
    Gift from the above to the present owner.


    Pre-Lot Text

    SOLD TO BENEFIT THE NEUE GALERIE NEW YORK


    Literature

    'Egon Schiele', in Mizue, September 1977, no. 870, p. 18.
    J. Kallir, Egon Schiele: The Complete Works, London, 1998, no. 1415 (recto, illustrated p. 512), no. 1452 (verso), p. 517.


    Exhibited

    Turin, Viotti, Galleria d'Arte Moderna, La Secessione di Vienna, December 1969 - January 1970, no. 45 (illustrated).
    New York, Serge Sabarsky Gallery, Expressionists, October - August 1973, no. 68 (illustrated).
    New York, Serge Sabarsky Gallery, Egon Schiele: An Exhibition of Drawings and Watercolors, April - June 1974, no. 26.
    Munich, Galerie Ilse Schweinsteiger, August - October 1976, no. 21.
    Dusseldorf, Westdeutscher Kunstmarkt, October 1976.
    Tokyo, The Seibu Museum of Art, Egon Schiele, April - June 1979, no. 42 (illustrated).
    Vienna, Historisches Museum der Stadt, Egon Schiele: Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, September - November 1981, no. 67 (illustrated); this exhibition later travelled to Linz, Neue Galerie der Stadt, November 1981 - January 1982; Munich, Museum Villa Stuck, February - March 1982 and Hanover, Kestner-Gesellschaft, April - June 1982.
    Paris, Hôtel de Ville, Salle Saint-Jean, Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele: Dessins et Aquarelles, June - August 1984, no. 79 (illustrated); this exhibition later travelled to Kaiserslautern, Pfalzgalerie, August - October 1984; Bolzano, Museo Civico, October - December 1984 and Turin, Palazzo Reale, December 1984 - February 1985.
    Tokyo, Isetan Museum, Egon Schiele und Wien zur Jahnhundertwende, March - April 1986, no. 44 (illustrated); this exhibition later travelled to Nagoya, Aichi Prefectural Museum, April 1986; Nara, Prefectural Museum, May - June 1986; Kofu City, Yamanashi Prefectural Museum, July - August 1986 and Kamakura, Museum of Art, September - November 1986.
    Rosenheim, Städtische Galerie Rosenheim, Egon Schiele: 100 Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, May - June 1988, no. 60; this exhibition later travelled to Florence, Palazzo Strozzi, June - August 1988; Herford, Kunstverein im Daniel-Pöppelmann-Haus, September - October 1988; Leverkusen, Erholungshaus der Bayer A.G., October - November 1988; Hoechst/Frankfurt, Jahrhunderthalle, November 1988 - January 1989; Bari, Castello Svevo, January - March 1989; Genoa, Museo Villa Croce, April - June 1989; Roslyn, Nassau County Museum of Art, January - April 1990; Linz, Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum, September - December 1990; Milan, Palazzo della Permanente, May - June 1991, no. 37; Bietigheim-Bissingen, Städtische Galerie, July - September 1991; Berlin, Käthe-Kollwitzs-Museum, October 1991 - March 1992; Passau, Museum moderner Kunst, March - May 1992; Ulm, Museum, June - August 1992; Prague, Palais Wallenstein, October - November 1992; Paris, Musée-Galerie de la Seita, December 1992 - February 1993; Vienna, BAWAG Foundation, March - May 1993, no. 61; Aix-en-Provence, Musée Granet, June - August 1993, no. 63; Albi, Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, October - December 1993, no. 63; Lisbon, Culturgest, December - February 1994, no. 63 and Aschaffengurg, Stadt Aschaffenberg/Galerie Jesuitenkirche, April - June 1994, no. 63. Blumeninsel Mainau, Schloss Mainau, Egon Schiele: Gemälde, Seichnungen and Aquarelle, September - November 1994, no. 74. Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Egon Schiele, February - May 1995, no. 91.
    Bad Frankenhausen, Panorama Museum, Egon Schiele: 100 Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, November - February 1996, no. 64; this exhibition later travelled to Reykjavik, National Gallery of Iceland, May - July 1996; Klagenfurt, Städtische Galerie Klagenfurt, July - September 1996; Cracow, International Culture Centre, December 1996 - January 1997 and Llubljana, Cankarjev Dom, Fine Art Gallery, April - June 1997.
    Cesk Krumlov, Mezinárodní kulturní centrum Egona Schieleho (on loan from August 1997).
    New York, Neue Galerie, Egon Schiele: The Ronald S. Lauder and Serge Sabarsky Collections, October 2005 - February 2006, no. D112 (illustrated p. 279).