Egon Schiele was an expressionistic artist who led a short, tragic life. An introspective, apparently brooding personality is evident in all his work. Primarily a draftsman, Schiele portrayed an erotic sensual world in violent, expressive line. Color was applied as an auxiliary emphasis to the drawing and developed in power and expressive content.Schiele was in the last year of his life when he painted the weird and magnetic Paris von Gütersloh. "This canvas—in spite of its looser brush stroke, its richly worked, Kokoschka-like surface—has a great deal in common with The Self-Seer,
done eight years earlier when he was in the first stages of artistic development. As in The Self-Seer,
the basic element is line, which not only delineates the form but its zig-zag angularity causes much of the nervously emotional appearance of the sitter. Von Gütersloh's pose is rigidly frontal. He seems to be in a hypnotic trance or about to hypnotize the spectator, an effect that is enhanced by the large, fixed eyes and the upraised hands—the palm of one turned outward, the palm of the other inward toward himself. Only the painter von Gütersloh is important. There is a suggestion of the chair in which he sits, but the background has been reduced to a nimbus-like radiation and emphasis around his figure. Here the paint has been applied with impulsive dynamic strokes, strangely foretelling the working method of the New York abstractionists of the 1940's."1
In 1918, Schiele had just achieved the status and recognition that he had been working for when his productive capacities were stilled. The terrible influenza epidemic that swept Europe after the First World War took first his wife and shortly thereafter Egon Schiele himself.Endnotes
Referenced Work of Art
- Peter Selz, German Expressionist Painting, Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1957, pp. 159-160.
- Egon Schiele, Austrian, 1890-1918. Portrait of the Painter Paris von Gütersloh, 1918. Oil on canvas, 55 1/2" x 43 1/2". Signed and dated lower right: Egon Schiele 1918. Accession 54.30.CollectionsGalerie St. Etienne, New York; The P. D. McMillan Land Company, Minneapolis, 24 November, 1951; The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Gift of the P. D. McMillan Land Company, 23 November, 1954.ExhibitedNew York, Galerie St. Etienne, 5 April-1 May, 1948.
St. Paul, Minnesota, Woman's City Club, November-December, 1953.
Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, Expressionism 1900-1955, 1 February-11 March, 1956.
Boston, Institute of Contemporary Art, Egon Schiele, 6 October-6 November, 1960. Subsequently exhibited at: New York, Galerie St. Etienne, 15 November-15 December, 1960; Louisville, J. B. Speed Museum, 3-31 January, 1961; The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 19 April-21 May, 1961.References"Egon Schiele," Art News, XLVII, April, 1948, ill. p. 51.
Richard S. Davis, "The Institute Receives Gifts of Two Expressionist Paintings," The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Bulletin, XLIV:33-9, September, 1955, ill.
Sidney Simon, Expressionism 1900-1955, Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, 1956, ill. (Minneapolis supplement only.)
Richard S. Davis, "'Portrait of Paris von Gütersloh' by Egon Schiele in The Minneapolis Institute of Arts," Art Quarterly, XIX:1, 1956, p. 93, ill. p. 90.
Peter Selz, German Expressionist Painting, Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1957, pl. 59.