Monday, May 11, 2015

Schiele's Portrait of Anton Peschka

Egon Schiele (1890 – 1918, Vienna) was a master of figural distortion and boldly defied what conventional views were of beauty. He was the leader of the Austrian Expressionists and his portraits are quite extraordinary – laying bare his own and his sitters’ psyches and showing unprecedented sexual and emotional directness.

He was prolific during his short and notorious life that was often scandalous even by today’s standards. He produced over 3,000 drawings and was a fabulous draughtsman. His primary influence was Gustav Klimt (he will be an artist I will revisit later in the year) who also acted as friend and mentor. Klimt was exotic and colourful in his art; Schiele used a limited palette and a graphic (design) style well ahead of his time.

Schiele died in 1918, not in the war but from the Spanish Flu epidemic that claimed his wife three days before his own death (and 20 million lives overall in Europe). Schiele produced half a dozen drawings of his wife after she, and before he, died.

The work I have tried to interpret is “The Portrait of Anton Peschka” (shown above) – a beautiful portrait and easily mistaken for a Klimt. Anton Peschka (1885 – 1940, Vienna) was a friend of Schiele’s and married his sister Gertrude. He exhibited regularly from 1906 to 1935. I love the muted pinks and grey palette and the Art Nouveau details on the chair. I hope I have done the work some justice and have used iridescent silver-grey glass for the background and chair. and a (very expensive piece of) neo-lavender for his coat. My piece is shown below and measures 20 x 29 cm unframed. It is much closer in tones than this awful photo shows!

No comments:

Post a Comment