EGON SCHIELE (1890-1918)
EGON SCHIELE (1890-1918)
EGON SCHIELE (1890-1918)
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EGON SCHIELE (1890-1918)
5 More
Property from the Collection of the Viennese Cabaret and Film Star Fritz Grünbaum
EGON SCHIELE (1890-1918)

Frau mit schwarzer Schürze (recto); Studie fur Frau (verso)

Details
EGON SCHIELE (1890-1918)
Frau mit schwarzer Schürze (recto); Studie fur Frau (verso)
signed and dated 'EGON SCHIELE 1911.' (center right; recto)
gouache, watercolor and pencil on paper (recto); pencil on paper (verso)
19 1/8 x 12 3/4 in. (48.5 x 32.2 cm.)
Executed in 1911
Provenance
Franz Friedrich "Fritz" Grünbaum, Vienna (by 1938).
Gutekunst & Klipstein, Bern (1956).
Dr. Hans Fetscherin, Munich (acquired from the above).
Viktor Fogarassy, Graz (by 1965, until at least 1975).
Galerie Würthle, Vienna (probably acquired from the above).
Serge Sabarsky, New York (probably acquired from the above, 1979).
Private collection, United States (acquired from the estate of the above, 1997, until 2004).
Thomas Gibson Fine Art and Richard Nagy, London (June 2004).
Richard Nagy, Ltd., London (January 2014).
Restituted to the heirs of Fritz Grünbaum (2022).
Literature
S. Sabarsky, Egon Schiele: Watercolors and Drawings, New York, 1983, p. 88 (recto illustrated, pl. 12).
J. Kallir, Egon Schiele: The Complete Works, Including a Biography and a Catalogue Raisonné, New York, 1998, pp. 448-449, no. 888 (recto illustrated, p. 449).
Exhibited
Bern, Gutekunst & Klipstein, Egon Schiele: Bilder, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Graphik, September-October 1956, no. 21 (recto illustrated).
New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, February-April 1965, no. 18.
Innsbruck, Galerie im Taxipalais and Graz, Kulturhaus, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele: Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, July-August 1973, no. 26 (recto illustrated).
Kunstmuseum Luzern, Kunst in Österreich 1900-1930, July-September 1974, no. 231.
Munich, Haus der Kunst, Egon Schiele, February-May 1975, no. 135 (recto illustrated).
New York, Serge Sabarsky Gallery, Expressionists, 1980.
Venice, Giardini di Castello, 40. Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte, June-September 1982, no. 14 (recto illustrated).
Rome, Pinacoteca Capitolina, Campidoglio and Venice, Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna, Ca’ Pesaro, Egon Schiele, June-November 1984, no. 94 (recto illustrated in color).
New York, Serge Sabarsky Gallery, Expressionists: Paintings, Watercolors and Drawings by 12 German Expressionists, December 1984, p. 162, no. 79 (recto illustrated in color, p. 163).
Vienna, Akademie der Bildenden Künste; Milan, Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera; Palermo, Villa Zito; Tel Aviv Museum; Hamburger Kunsthalle; Salzburg, Rupertinum; Graz, Schloss Plankenwirth; Innsbruck, Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum; Bottrop, Josef Alberts Museum and Nürnberg, Kunsthalle, Egon Schiele, vom Schüler zum Meister: Zeichnungen und Aquarelle 1906-1918, January 1984-June 1986, no. 51 (recto illustrated in color).
Rosenheim, Städische Galerie; Florence, Palazzo Strozzi; Herforder Kunstverein im Daniel-Pöppelmann-Haus; Leverkusen, Erholungshaus der Bayer A.G.; Frankfurt, Jahrhunderthalle Hoechst; Bari, Castello Svevo; Genoa, Museo Villa Croce; Ferrara, Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea di Palazzo Massari; New York, Nassau County Museum of Art; Linz, Oberösterreiches Landesmuseum; Milan, Palazzo della Permanente; Bietigheim-Bissingen, Städtische Galerie; Berlin, Käthe-Kollwitz Museum; Passau, Museum moderner Kunst; Ulmer Museum; Prague, Palais Wallenstein; Paris, Musée-Galerie de la Seita; Vienna, BAWAG Fondation; Aix-en-Provence, Musée Granet; Albi, Musée Toulouse-Lautrec; Lisbon, Culturgest; Aschaffenburg, Galerie Jesuitenkirche; Blumeninsel Mainau, Schloss Mainau; Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda; Rouen, Fondation Pierre Gianadda; Bad Frankenhausen, Panorama Museum; New York, The Serge Sabarsky Foundation; Klagenfurt, Städtische Galerie; Krakow, International Cultural Centre and Ljubljana, Cankarjev Dom, Egon Schiele: 100 Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, May 1988-June 1997, no. 48 (recto illustrated).
Zurich, Hauser & Wirth, Egon Schiele: Arbeiten auf Papier, February-April 1994, p. 62 (recto illustrated, p. 63).
London, Richard Nagy, Ltd., Egon Schiele: Women, May-June 2001, no. 24 (recto illustrated in color).

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Vanessa Fusco
Vanessa Fusco Head of 20th Century Evening Sale, Head of Impressionist and Modern Art

Lot Essay

Over the course of 1911, Egon Schiele’s art underwent a dramatic transformation, as he began to shift away from the bold, jagged, angular lines that had previously dominated his oeuvre to explore a softer, more delicate approach to form. A key element in this development lay in the artist’s experiments with watercolor, a medium he played with repeatedly during this period as he sought to understand and master its capricious nature. Executed in delicately thin layers of watercolor pigment, Frau mit schwarzer Schürze reveals Schiele’s growing confidence in the medium during the latter half of 1911, as he began to allow his pigments a greater role in the construction of the figure. Retaining a sense of the fluidity of the paint and the bold movements of the artist’s paintbrush as it danced across the page, Schiele allows the washes of color to bleed over the contours of his pencil drawing underneath, lending the outline of his sitter’s body a more rounded, organic, undulating character that highlights the sheer liquidity of the pigment.
Captured from a slightly low viewpoint, the model in this work appears to tower over the artist, dominating the composition with her presence. Although her pose suggests she is seated, Schiele deliberately avoids any reference to her surroundings in the painting, creating the impression that she is floating in mid-air, while also drawing our attention to the physicality of her body. Reinforcing the isolation of his model on the page, Schiele emphasizes the strong meandering contours of her figure by introducing a subtle white “halo” around the edges of her body, a technique which had first emerged in his art in 1910. The white halo would have also served a practical function, halting the flow of the thinned, liquid washes of watercolor across the page. Unflinchingly returning the artist’s gaze, the model adopts an unusual pose, placing her hands resolutely on her thighs to create a geometric, almost diamond shape with her arms. Combined with the way her fingers appear to settle into the folds of black fabric that make up her skirt, this creates the impression that she is slowly pulling her pinafore upwards, revealing the layers of brightly colored petticoats she wears underneath. Maintaining eye contact with the watchful artist, a slight flush creeps into her cheeks, a small detail that enhances the suggestive intimacy of the scene. Indeed, although the model remains fully clothed, there is an erotic charge between the sitter and the artist that belies the apparent chastity of the encounter.
The present work is being offered by the heirs of Fritz Grünbaum, a celebrated cabaret performer, writer, actor and outspoken opponent of Nazism, active in Vienna during the early twentieth century. Born Franz Friedrich Grünbaum in April 1880, Fritz studied law before turning to performance and cabaret, and enjoyed a highly successful and varied theatrical career, which included performances at the famous Viennese theatre Simpl, as well as roles in several early films. Alongside his work as a performer, Fritz held a life-long passion for art, shaped by his father Wilhelm’s activities as a dealer in the city of Brno (Brünn), and he built up a diverse personal collection which ranged from Russian icons and etchings by Old Masters such as Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt, to Post-Impressionist and Modern drawings and watercolors by Auguste Rodin, Camille Pissarro, Paul Signac, Max Liebermann, Käthe Kollwitz, and others.
However, it was compositions by the Viennese avant-garde of the early twentieth century and, in particular, the works of Egon Schiele which truly captured Grünbaum’s imagination. Over the course of his life, he purchased over 80 works by the artist, spanning the full range of Schiele’s creative output, from delicate pencil portraits and nude studies executed in gouache or watercolor, to striking, melancholic landscapes and mysterious allegorical subjects in oil.
Shortly after the German annexation of Austria in 1938, Grünbaum was arrested by the Gestapo and subsequently interned at Dachau concentration camp in June 1938, where he perished in January of 1941, after having also spent some time incarcerated in Buchenwald. His art collection, which numbered over 400 works at the time of his arrest, was lost following his wife Lilly’s deportation to the Maly Trostenets concentration camp near Minsk in October 1942, where she was murdered soon after her arrival. Frau, das Gesicht verbergend and Frau mit schwarzer Schürze were recently restituted to the Grünbaum family after years spent fighting for their return.

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