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Artist Egon Schiele (Austrian, 1890–1918)
Title Self-Portrait (Selbstbildnis)
Date 1910
Medium Gouache, watercolor, and and black crayon on paper
Dimensions Image: 17 5/8 × 12 1/2 in. (44.8 × 31.8 cm)
Sheet: 17 5/8 × 12 1/2 in. (44.8 × 31.8 cm)
Framed: 27 1/8 × 21 7/8 in. (68.9 × 55.6 cm)
Credit Line Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 76.6

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About this Work

This is one of a series of drawings from the period in which Egon Schiele intensely explored his own image. Many of the characteristic visual devices that he used in 1910 are present, including the truncated limbs and torso, the white astral glow around the body, and the intense expression. While his figure drawings often reflect the elegant, sinuous lines associated with Gustav Klimt and the Vienna Secession movement, Schiele’s revolutionary self-portraits were more expressionistic in their use of unsettling colors, aggressive mark-making, and emotional intensity. Despite a new artistic confidence, the twenty-year-old artist possessed an inner angst (“second self”). His emaciated body, tilted head, and sunken eyes suggest a lost, tortured soul filled with fear and uncertainty.

1976, Indiana University Art Museum purchase from Serge Sabarsky Gallery, New York, NY

ca. 1974–1976, Serge Sabarsky Gallery, New York, NY [1]

December 4, 1974, Sale, “Impressionist and Modern Watercolours and Drawings,” Sotheby’s, London, England (lot no. 172)

possibly: April 1919, with Gustav Nebehay Kunsthandlung, Hotel Bristol, Vienna, Austria [2]

ca. 1910–1918, Collection of Koloman Moser (1868–1918), Vienna, Austria [3]


[1] Per invoice dated October 5, 1975, museum registration files.

[2] In April of 1919, Nebehay published the first in a series of catalogs, each dedicated to the work of specific artists or periods on sale at his Vienna gallery (est. 1916). The first of these publications, “Die Zeichnung: Egon Schiele,” featured Schiele’s drawings and watercolors, including many that had been owned by Moser. The Eskenazi’s drawing is consistent with that of two entries listed, cat. nos. 14 and 150 (unillustrated). However, there are several watercolor self-portraits from 1910 that could match this description.

[3] Per Moser’s inscription “KM” on the recto. Moser (1868–1918), a prominent member of the Vienna Secession, was an early collector of Schiele’s graphic work. He acquired his first works by Schiele in 1910, which almost certainly included this self-portrait (based on purchases described in a letter from Schiele to Ludwig Karl Strauch, dated 5 June 1910, quoted in: Christian Nebehay, Egon Schiele, 1890–1918. Leben – Briefe – Gedichte (Salzburg: Verlag Welz, 1979).

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

October 6–December 23, 2012, "Pioneers and Exiles: German Expressionism at the Indiana University Art Museum," Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN (cat. no. 22)

March 29–May 14, 2000, "About Face: Two Thousand Years of Portraiture at Indiana University," Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN

August 14–September 30, 1990, "Self Portraits at the Indiana University Art Museum," Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN

January 16–March 3, 1985, "Drawings from Indiana University Art Museum," Special Exhibitions Gallery, Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN

November 12–December 31, 1980, "20th Century Paintings, Sculpture, Drawings from the collection of Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington," The Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL

October 23–December 3, 1977, "German and Austrian Expressionism 1900–1920," Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN (cat. no. 90)

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"Self-Portrait | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.