Lithograph on cream wove paper, 1912. 420-215 mm; 16 1/2x8 1/2 inches, full margins. Edition of 200. Signed and dated in pencil, lower left. Published by Delphin-Verlag, Munich. From Mappe der Künstlervereiningung SEMA, with the ink stamp lower left. A superb impression of this very scarce, early lithograph, with strong contrasts and all the details distinct.
Much of the intensity, anguish and raw sexuality in Schiele's (1890-1918) work stems from critical and social isolation in the early 1910s. Schiele's radical and developed approach towards the naked human form challenged both scholars and progressives alike. By 1912, he and his then 17-year-old girlfriend, Wally Neuzil, had moved to Neulengbach, a short distance west of Vienna, in search of inexpensive studio/living space and artistic inspiration. As in Vienna, Schiele's studio became a gathering place for Neulengbach's delinquent children and his bohemian way of life aroused animosity among the town's inhabitants. He was arrested in 1912 and imprisoned for kidnapping and seducing a minor, charges which were subsequently dropped, and displaying pornographic art, for which he was convicted, all of which sustained his view of himself as a martyr for his craft. This important, nude self portrait, Schiele's first lithograph and printed portrait, captures the torment and overt sexuality which enveloped him during the early 1910s. In 1918, his promising career was tragically cut short when he succumbed to the Spanish flu epidemic at the young age of 28. Kallir 1.