The subject of this painting is a meditation on the great mysteries of death. Schiele’s focus here is the interface between life and death, although he refrains from answering as to what the hereafter might hold in store. The two men, clad in monks’ habits and bearing Schiele’s features, are positioned in two states of levitation before a stylized landscape. While the lower figure still touches the ground with his feet, the upper one has already lost contact with all things earthly. The large eyes of these barely living figures appear tired, their lids only half-open; their faces are a greenish tint, and their fingertips touch in a loose position of prayer. The facial expression and gestures of the lower figure, however, suggest that he still has a bit of life left in him. He stares in dismay out of the center of the painting. The work thematizes human beings letting go of life on earth and mercilessly lays bare the ephemeral nature of all that is human while posing the question as to what lies beyond.