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Selbstporträt als heiliger Sebastian (Self-portrait as St. Sebastian)
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About the object

Schiele was 24 when he drew Selbstporträt als heiliger Sebastian.  By this point in his life he had already been banished from one town for depicting young girls in the nude and had served jail time in another on charges of indecency. Amazingly he persevered and even thrived amidst his continuous misfortune.  For example, he was constantly broke, but he could usually rely on the financial support of several loyal patrons. And although Europe was in the midst of one of the most devastating wars in its history, he avoided having to go to battle.  So perfectly emblematic of the young artist’s state of affairs in 1914 was the figure of St. Sebastian, who miraculously survived a deadly assault of arrows. With impeccable draftsmanship Schiele draws himself here in one of his signature poses -- splayed fingers with limbs dangling across the picture plane.  The cryptic gesture now takes on the connotation of a benediction, as the body is pierced with arrows and the artist lives to tell the tale.  Schiele created this drawing as an idea for an exhibition poster at the Galerie Arnot.  The image for the final poster is now in the Historisches Museum der Stadt in Vienna. This drawing is one of the most well-known images of the artist's production and certainly one of his most poignantly symbolic self-portraits.\nCommenting on the evolution of Schiele's style and his unrestrained ambition and devotion to his art, Jane Kallir has written: "Egon Schiele's life and work comprise the quintessential coming-of-age story, that of a young man striving inexorably toward what was outside his grasp.  Schiele's youthful solipsism and artistic ambition often brought him face-to-face with practical difficultires -- among them financial straits and societal disapproval.  But it was also his ambition that propelled his technical and stylistic development at such an astonishing pace; indeed, one of the most remarkable aspects of Schiele's short life is the groud that he covered in his career before his death in 1918, at the age of twenty-eight" (Jane Kallir, Egon Schiele, Drawings and Watercolors, New York, 2003, p. 8).\nSigned and dated Egon Schiele 1914 (lower right)
US
NY, US
US

medium

Pencil on paper

creator

Egon Schiele

dimensions

12 5/8 by 19 in.

exhibition

Boston, Institute of Contemporary Art; New York, Galerie St. Etienne; Louisville, Speed Art Museum; Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute; Minneapolis Instiute of Arts, Egon Schiele, 1960, no. 3 Berkeley, University Art Gallery of the University of California, Viennese Expressionism 1910-1924, 1963, no. 56 New York, Galerie St. Etienne, Egon Schiele (1890-1920): Watercolors and Drawings from American Collections, 1965, no. 50 Darmstadt, Malthildenhöhe, Internationale der Zeichnung, 1967, no. 62 Des Moines, Art Center; Columbus Gallery of Fine Art; Art Instiutute of Chicago, Egon Schiele and the Human Form: Drawings and Watercolors, 1971, no. 38 Munich, Haus der Kunst, Egon Schiele, 1975, no. 207 New York, Wildenstein Gallery, Modern Portraits: The Self and Others, 1976 New York, Galerie St. Etienne, Gustave Klimt, Egon Schiele, 1980, no. 40 New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Vienna 1900: Art, Architecture & Design, 1986, no. 107

literature

American Artist, New York, 1972, illustrated p. 33 Alessandra Comini, Schiele in Prison, Greenwich, 1973, fig. 96, illustrated Jane Kallir, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, New York, 1980, illustrated pl. 40 Albert Elsen, Purposes of Art, New York, 1980, illustrated Donald E. Gordon, Expressionism: Art and Idea, New Haven, 1987, fig. 141, illustrated Jane Kallir, Egon Schiele: The Complete Works, New York, 1998, no. 1658, illustrated p. 541 Jane Kallir, Egon Schiele, Drawings and Watercolors, London and New York, 2003, illustrated pp. 290-91

provenance

Private Collection (acquired from the artist) Dr. Rudolph Leopold, Vienna (acquired from the above) Galerie St. Etienne, New York (acquired from the above) Acquired from the above on May 6, 1959

signedDate

Signed and dated Egon Schiele 1914 (lower right)

consignmentDesignation

Property from the Estate of Gertrude A. Mellon

creator_nationality_dates

1890 - 1918


*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.

*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.


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