Egon Schiele The Sitting Woman

Artist's Wife Egon Schiele

Egon  Schiele would have to be one of my favourite artists and this piece in particular I’m drawn to, the name “sitting woman with legs up”. The painting is of Edith Harms schiele’s wife. The couple lived in Vienna, Whilst the scene in Vienna was very luxurious and civilised on the outside there was a large sexual underworld hypocritical to the rest of Vienna. This was possibly what inspired the intensive sexual gaze present in this painting among others. Schiele was heavily influenced from sources outside of the the vienna fine arts academy that he attended such as his famous mentor Gustav Klimt. Klimt arranged models to sit for schiele introduced him to potential buyers. The influence of Klimt is obvious throughout many of Schiele’s paintings such as this one, with the unusual postures and poses. Schiele’s lines appear more angular than klimt’s however. Schiele also uses elegant curves alike Klimt.

In this painting Schiele stripped the figure back to the bare essentials both mentally and physically.. Harsh rough skin tones to create a bruised battered look and the appearance of texture. Often when an artist paints a portrait of someone they bring a personal emotion or interpretation into the paintings whether consciously or not, schiele however deliberately analysis himself in his portraiture,  his self portraiture. He seems to analysis his personality in the way a teenager would with uncertainty of his own identity and trying to make sense of himself, he has even described himself as an “internal child”. This image is completed with a blank background almost like a void which amplifies the figure and the stark brutality of her. Expressionism is a way to describe his works.


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