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Creator Name: Schiele, Egon
Creator Nationality: European; Central European; Austrian
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: Austrian, 1890-1918
Creator Name-CRT: Egon Schiele
Title: Seated Woman, Back View
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1917
Creation End Date: 1917
Creation Date: 1917
Object Type: Drawings and Watercolors
Classification Term: Drawings & Watercolors
Materials and Techniques: watercolor, gouache, and pencil on paper
Dimensions: H. 18-1/4, W. 11-3/4 in. (46.4 x 29.8 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1984.433.294
Credit Line: Bequest of Scofield Thayer, 1982
While living in Vienna from 1921 to 1923, Scofield Thayer presumably bought many, or all, of the thirty drawings in his collection by the Austrian Expressionist painter Egon Schiele, whose work was virtually unknown in the United States at the time.
Schiele's career was short, intense, and amazingly productive. Before succumbing to influenza in 1918 at the age of twenty-eight, he created more than three hundred oil paintings and several thousand works on paper. The human figure provided Schiele with his most potent subject matter for both paintings and drawings.
The psychological intensity of Schiele's self-portraits is rarely encountered in his numerous studies of young women - many nude or provocatively dressed - who are treated in a detached manner as objects for formal analysis. Often isolated on a page, without any reference to their surroundings, these figures are exquisite studies in line, composition, and gesture. This portrait of a seated woman viewed from behind is expressive even though her face is hidden. The model was likely Schiele's wife, Edith Harms, then twenty-four, whom he married in 1915 and who died of influenza only three days before he did. Only partially dressed but with her strawberry-blond hair carefully coiffed, the figure wears a bright blue striped jacket over a white striped shirt - the attire of a respectable lady. Her lower body, however, is clad in the garments in which Schiele usually depicted prostitutes - a white lace slip and dark stockings. The marked difference between the two parts of her costume seems to reflect the artist's own ambivalent feelings about his wife, who is variously shown in his art as a cold virgin or a passionate lover.
AMICA ID: MMA_.1984.433.294
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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