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Schiele - Lovers (Self-Portrait with Wally)

Liebespaar (Selbstdarstellung Mit Wally)
Lovers (Self-portrait With Wally)
By Egon Schiele
Gouache, watercolour and pencil on paper (1914/15)
Estimated price: £6.5-8.5 million

In February, Sotheby’s London will be offering for sale some of the most important works on paper by Egon Schiele (1890-1918) ever to have come to the market. These three exceptional drawings come from the Leopold Museum in Vienna, home to the most comprehensive Schiele collection in the world. The drawings represent a critical period in the artist’s career (1914-1918) both professionally and personally.

The first drawing, titled Liebespaar (Selbstdarstellung Mit Wally), was produced in 1914/15 and is a highly emotional portrait of Schiele with his muse and lover Wallburga Neuzil who was introduced to the artist by Gustav Klimt. Wallburga Neuzil (or ‘Wally’ as she was known) is depicted with her striking auburn hair and blue-green eyes, the confrontational composition and vibrant palette representing their intense relationship.

The second drawing from the same period is a powerfully intimate self-portrait, showing the artist dressed in green, his eyes closed and anxiously wringing his hands.
The third drawing of a girl lying on her back is one of Schiele’s final works and belongs to a series of line drawings of semi-nude female figures which combine a strong sexuality with a novel sense of perspective.

Together, these three incredible drawings provide an overview of the dynamic and expressive quality of Schiele’s work.

Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale will be held in London on February 5, 2013.

First published in the Adbuzzzz Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on December 16, 2012.