“Most esteemed Mr. Moll, I thank you again for the kind visit and for the very interesting discussion, which is still giving me much to think about. But when I look back on my own experiences of artistic struggles, you point me to a path opposite the correct one. A youthful work of mine, imperfect both in what was attempted and how it was achieved, is well received today, although it had previously failed. But with my other works, the more mature and artistic they are, the more perfectly they achieve what was attempted, and the more highly their aim is valued, the less of an impression I make. [...] I am certain you are right if you measure my imperfect ability in the Nature Pieces at zero. I find all that very poor myself. But not, for instance, because I think it lacks originality, as you seem to believe. No, I find it poor on the whole in the same sense as you do; and I have always found it to be poor. Because I have never felt the familiar sense of satisfaction that I know from my musical works that says to me: it is good! On the other hand, I have had this feeling with almost all the other paintings (the Fantasy Pieces) and therefore I must believe: this is something. At first glance, it must seem strange that I assume that someone who can do nothing is suddenly capable of doing something. However, I do not only consider this possible; it is in fact with me routinely the case. I have always been able to do only that which is suited to me – absolutely, immediately and almost without any transition or preparation. On the other hand, the things that others can do – that which passes for ‘education’ – have always caused me difficulties. [...] Most respectfully yours, Arnold Schönberg” (Arnold Schönberg to Carl Moll, 16 June 1910)


  • Title: Interior and Portrait of a Woman
  • Creator: Arnold Schönberg
  • Date Created: 1910
  • Location Created: Wien, Österreich
  • Physical Dimensions: w140.5 x h85 cm
  • Provenance: Arnold Schoenberg, Los Angeles; Gertrud Schoenberg, Los Angeles; Nuria Schoenberg Nono, Venezia, Lawrence and Ronald Schoenberg, Los Angeles; Belmont Music Publishers, Los Angeles
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Belmont Music Publishers, Los Angeles
  • External Link: https://www.schoenberg.at
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps