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Sleeping Girl

Egon Schiele (Tulln, Àustria, 1890 – Viena, 1918)
Sleeping Girl
1909
Graphite pencil, watercolour and pastel on paper

Egon Schiele (Tulln, Àustria, 1890 – Viena, 1918)

Sleeping Girl

1909

Graphite pencil, watercolour and pastel on paper

Between 1909 and 1910, Egon Schiele broke away from the influences of the works of his teacher and mentor, Gustav Klimt. He abandoned the decorative elements in his oil paintings and drawings and started to place his figures in empty spaces. The lack of anecdotic elements accentuated the prominence of the bodies, emphasizing their emotional and psychological aspects.

In Klimt’s female figures, eroticism is built through the portrayal of strong women, who speak to us and challenge us in the middle of an adorned, polychrome space, as if they were new Byzantine icons. Schiele, on the other hand, chooses to undress the portrayal, offering a greater sense of proximity.

Schiele, like other artists of his time, no longer resorts to depicting women as an ideal or allegorical figure and endows his figures with a bare look full of sensuality that, in many cases, goes way beyond the acceptable limits of the representation of nudity. His bold perspectives, the way he severs the figures that completely subverts the foundations of academic composition and often the stark vision of anatomies, clearly displaying sexual attributes, make the drawings of this Austrian artist some of the most modern of his time.

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