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Self-Portrait (Torso with Head Bent to Right)

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.

Egon Schiele
Austrian, 1890–1918
Self-Portrait (Torso with Head Bent to Right)
1910
Black crayon, gouache, and watercolor on paper
Image/sheet: 17 5/8 x 12 ½ in. (44.8 x 31.8 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 76.6