The self-portrait 74 x 30 cm by Egon Schiele thus offers a flat and unbalanced composition in an original attitude that demonstrates the intention of the young artist to make himself known. It was sold for £ 7.2M including premium by Christie's on February 2, 2016.
On May 16 in New York, Sotheby's sells Danaë, oil and metallic paint on canvas 80 x 125 cm considered as the first nude in Schiele's professional career. It is estimated $ 30M, lot 27.
Klimt had made two years earlier on the same theme an oil on canvas which is a masterpiece of his erotic art. With her buttocks and thigh in the forefront, the nude woman receives the rain of gold without hiding her sexual pleasure.
Schiele reuses for his Danaë several ideas from Klimt including the red hair. The spots simulating gold are suppressed but the abstract multicolored rain from the lower part of the image has become a heavy curtain that will wrap the woman. Her features are barely sketched giving to that naked body the appearance of a fetal mass.
1909 is definitely a year of transition in Schiele's access to his artistic maturity. Known since his adolescence for his sexual urges, he nevertheless keeps a restraint in his art. After meeting with his very young girlfriend Wally two years later, he will find for several years his difficult path between attraction and disgust for the flesh, with an intense psychological expression even in the explicite nude which in no way reduces the banality of his life and of the life of his characters.
Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's :