Sale: 535 / Evening Sale with Collection Hermann Gerlinger, Dec. 09. 2022 in Munich Lot 33


Egon Schiele
Paar in Umarmung, 1914.
Black Chalk drawing
€ 180,000 / $ 189,000
€ 262,500 / $ 275,625

(incl. surcharge)
Paar in Umarmung. 1914.
Black Chalk drawing.
Kallir D 1677. Signed and dated in lower left. With the estate stamp in lower right. On fine Japon. 33 x 45 cm (12.9 x 17.7 in), size of sheet.
Three signficant works from three different creative years in the artists short life are part of our Evening Sale on December 9, 2022. [CH].
• From the acclaimed Serge Sabarsky Collection.
• With a long international exhibition history.
• The work presumably shows Edith Harms, the artist's later wife, and her nephew Paul Erdmann.
• Formerly in possession of Schiele's close friend Anton Peschka, who married Gertrude Schiele, the artist's sister, the year it was made

PROVENANCE: From the artist's estate (with the estate stamp in lower right).
Marie Schiele, neé Soucup (the artist's mother, 1862-1935), Vienna (with the inscription on the reverse).
Gertrude Peschka-Schiele (the artist's sister, 1894-1981), Vienna (with the inscription on the reverse).
Anton Peschka Jr (the artist's nephew, 1914-1997), Vienna (since 1969).
Serge Sabarsky Collection (1912-1996), New York (acquired from the above).
Serge Sabarsky Estate, New York.
Vally Sabarsky Collection (1909-2002), New York.
Vally Sabarsky Foundation, New York.

EXHIBITION: Egon Schiele. Aquarelle und Zeichnungen, Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien, September 24 - November 1, 1981, Neue Galerie der Stadt Linz, November 19 - January 16, 1982, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, spring of 1982, Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanover, April 23 - June 13, 1982, cat. no. 83 (with illu.).
Egon Schiele, Pinacoteca Capitolina, Campidoglio, Rome, June 21 - August 8, 1984, Galleria Internazionale d'Arte Moderna Ca' Pesaro, Venice, August 25, 1984 - January 12, 1985, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny, November 26, 1986 - January 25, 1987, cat. no. 135 (with illu.).
Traum und Wirklichkeit. Wien 1870-1930, Künstlerhaus, Vienna, March 28 - October 6, 1985, p. 519, cat. no. 15/8/38.
Egon Schiele. 100 Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, Städtische Galerie Rosenheim, Rosenheim, May 7 - June 12, 1988, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, June 21 - August 28, 1988, Herforder Kunstverein im Daniel-Pöppelmann-Haus, Herford, September 3 - October 12, 1988, Erholungshaus der Bayer AG, Leverkusen, October 16 - November 20, 1988, Jahrhunderthalle, Hoechst / Frankfurt am Main, November 27, 1988 - January 15, 1989, Castello Svevo, Bari, January 28 - March 12, 1989, Museo Villa Croce, Genoa, April 5 - June 15, 1989, Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea di Palazzo Massari, Ferrara, June 24 - Octobr 8, 1989, cat. no. 66.
Egon Schiele 1890-1918. A Centennial Retrospective, Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn / New York, January 28 - April 15, 1990, cat. no. 66 (with illu.).
Egon Schiele. 100 Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum, Linz, September 14 - December 9, 1990, Städtische Galerie, Bietigheim-Bissingen, July 6 - September 15, 1991, Käthe-Kollwitz-Museum, Berlin, October 24, 1991 - March 1, 1992, Museum moderner Kunst, Passau, March 6 - May 31 ,1992, Ulmer Museum, Ulm, June 14 - August 16, 1992, Palais Wallenstein, Prague, October 8 - November 28, 1992, Musée-Galerie de la Seita, Paris, December 14, 1992 - February 27, 1993, cat. no. 66.
Egon Schiele. 100 Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, BAWAG Foundation, Vienna, March 24 - May 23, 1993 (not in cat.).
Egon Schiele, Mezinárodní kulturní centrum Egona Schieleho, Ceský Krumlov, November 6, 1993 to October 1997, pp. 168f.
Egon Schiele, National Gallery of Iceland, Reykjavik, May 31 - July 14, 1996.
Egon Schiele. Master Draughtsman, Galerie St. Etienne, New York, November 18 - January 3, 1998, cat. no. 42.
Egon Schiele. The Ronald S. Lauder and Serge Sabarsky Collections, Neue Galerie, New York, October 21, 2005 - February 20, 2006, cat. no. D124, p. 418 (with illu.).
Musée d'art de la province de Nuoro (MAN Museo d'Arte della Provincia di Nuoro), Nuoro, November 2007 to January 2008.
Boys and Girls, Galerie St. Etienne, New York, March 30 - June 30, 2017.
Egon Schiele. The Making of a Collection, Belvedere, Vienna, October 19, 2018 - February 17, 2019, p. 210.

LITERATURE: Jane Kallir, Egon Schiele. The Complete Works, New York 1990, cat. no. D1677, p. 543 (with illub.).
Jane Kallir, Egon Schiele. The Complete Works, New York 1998, cat. no. D1677, p. 543 (with illu.).

"In his short life [..] Egon Schiele created an œuvre that was both symptomatic and groundbreaking for his time and made him one of the most influential and dazzling figures of Viennese Modernism."

Quoted from: Leopold Museum,

Jane Kallir on Egon Schiele

"Sleeping Woman" (1912, Kallir D. 1105), "Lovers" (1913, Kallir D. 1448) and "Embracing Couple" (1914, Kallir D. 1677) chart Egon Schiele's changing relationships with the opposite sex during the years when he was involved with Walburga (Wally) Neuzil and, later, Edith Harms, whom he married in 1915.

"Sleeping Woman" dates to the early days of Schiele's relationship with Wally. The two had met in 1911, but it is evident that her predecessor continued to figure in the artist's life (and work) at least through the middle of 1912. Wally and another, unidentified, model appear together in several works from this time (e.g., Kallir D. 1111). In these and subsequent watercolors, Wally is distinguished by reddish-blond hair, often bound by a headband, and a broad mouth, while the other woman (sometimes referred to as "the black-haired girl") can be identified by her darker tresses and heart-shaped face. Though the "Sleeping Woman" does not have red hair, several related drawings (Kallir D. 1106, Kallir D. 1106a) suggest she may nonetheless be Wally. Schiele sometimes took liberties in rendering such details. Furthermore, Wally acquired a singular personality in Egon’s drawings only gradually, as the two grew closer (Kallir D. 1118).

By the time Schiele drew "Lovers", in 1913, he and Wally were an established couple. Still, Wally was not his only model during this period, and the face of the woman in the aforementioned drawing is too stylized to permit identification. The same may be said of the man. It could be Egon, or one of his male friends. Couples had previously been a recurring subject for Schiele, but possibly under the influence of his relationship with Wally, they became more prominent in 1913. It is, however, important to note that the artist's interest was not confined to heterosexual pairings. Intentionally innocuous titles such as "Mother and Daughter" (Kallir D. 1297) or "Two Men" (Kallir D. 1416), masked the erotic subtext of such works. At the same time, these double figure studies related to Schiele's contemporaneous allegorical concerns. He was also working on several canvases (never completed) depicting a mystic "seer" flanked by a row of standing acolytes ("Encounter (Self-Portrait with Saint)", Kallir P. 259, Conversion, Kallir P. XLIII).

In 1914, Schiele began a flirtation with two sisters, Adele and Edith Harms, whose family had moved into the building across the street from his studio the year before. At first the sisters resisted Egon's advances, and their parents certainly did not consider him an appropriate suitor. To counter their reluctance, Schiele dispatched Wally to befriend the girls and enlisted her as chaperon when he took them to the movies. Soon, Egon had focused his attention on Edith, the younger, fair-haired sibling. In February 1915, the artist informed his friend, Arthur Roessler: "[Ich] habe vor zu heiraten, —günstigst, nicht Wal[ly]."

Belying the title, the subjects of "Embracing Couple" are not a couple per se, but Edith Harms and her young nephew, Paul Erdmann. She is identifiable by her striped dress and turban, which she wears in a roughly contemporaneous photograph (see illu.). Paul appears in a series of 1915 drawings
—both alone (Kallir D. 1697) and with his aunt (Kallir D. 1798). "Embracing Couple" is closely related to this series, and it is possible Schiele incorrectly ascribed the drawing to 1914. The artist did not necessarily sign his drawings the moment they were finished, and he sometimes made mistakes when coming back later to date them.

Its subjects notwithstanding, the erotic tension in "Embracing Couple" is undeniable. As Schiele approached marriage in 1914-15, his depictions of couples became increasingly anguished. Whether heterosexual (Kallir D. 1785) or homosexual (Kallir D. 1743), the physical attraction that binds these pairs seems to preclude emotional intimacy. Pinprick eyes on one or both partners convey a sense of profound disorientation. At a certain point, Edith and little Paul appear caught up in a similar whirlwind (Kallir D. 1794). It becomes difficult to separate their ostensibly innocuous embrace from that of Schiele's adult couples.

Prior to meeting Edith, Egon had had numerous sexual liaisons with models who, like Wally, were at the time considered little better than prostitutes. The class divide between the artist's former lovers and his prospective bride was enormous. His confusion when confronted with the emotional demands of a properly bourgeois mate is reflected in a searing self-portrait with Edith, probably done shortly after their wedding in June 1915 (Kallir D. 1788). The marriage that ensued was marked by ups and downs. Through his experiences with Edith, Schiele gradually developed a deeper understanding of the female psyche that is reflected in his later portraits of women, but at the same time his erotic drawings became far less personal. "Sleeping Woman", "Lovers" and "Embracing Couple" evidence a process of discovery and artistic experimentation that is not seen in Schiele's work after 1915.

Jane Kallir

President, Kallir Research Institute and author of the catalogue raisonné of Egon Schiele's works

Egon Schiele
Paar in Umarmung, 1914.
Black Chalk drawing
€ 180,000 / $ 189,000
€ 262,500 / $ 275,625

(incl. surcharge)