Egon Schiele was just 25 years old when he married Edith Harms, the daughter of a factory floor worker, on 17 June 1915. This portrait of his bride was completed the following August. Edith’s attitude is ungainly; she looks as if she has been propped up like a doll. The full-frontal pose, hanging arms, blocky shoes and striped dress – made out of the curtains in Schiele’s studio – draw attention to the impersonal and decorative aspects of the image. Only the clawed hands and open, vulnerable gaze reveal an intense emotional intimacy. The marriage was to last only three years – not because the couple chose to part, but because Edith died of the Spanish flu on 28 October 1918. She was six months pregnant. Egon Schiele succumbed to the same disease three days later, at the age of only 28.