The advances by Klimt in the artistic language are revolutionary and effective. Schiele is inspired by them but early seeks to express his own personality. A self-portrait 74 x 30 cm painted by Egon in late 1909 was sold for £ 4.5 million including premium by Christie's in London on 6 February 2007. It is now estimated £ 6M for sale in the same auction room on February 2, lot 31.
Working a portrait in a narrow vertical format is one of Klimt's innovations. Egon reuses this idea while limiting the figuration to the head in the top right and the hands at the lower end of the image, over a dark background.
The young artist is ambitious. The insertion of the head into a gold frame on two and a half sides is an adaptation from the gilded left and right edges of Klimt's Judith. The left edge of Egon's image is decorated with small variously colored rectangles that mark his temporary allegiance to the Wiener Werkstätte.
Schiele's personality is complex. He wants to be recognized and his lively gazes undertakes communication, but his face is heavily rouged. The fingers which are the tool of his growing fame are wide open in a hermetic symbolism that can be a proposal, an explanation or a mime.
SOLD for £ 7.2M including premium