Self-Portrait, Grimacing

Egon Schiele1910

Leopold Museum

Leopold Museum

Like in other self-portraits from 1910, this work lacks neither exaggeration nor distortion. The face contorted into a grimace, the mouth pulled wide open to reveal just a single tooth, the eyebrows acutely raised, the forehead and neck furrowed with wrinkles – the entire face screams repulsion and resistance. In a sense, Schiele was emulating Franz Xaver Messerschmidt’s Character Heads, pushing physiognomy to the limits of what is bearable. While the crude grimace expresses alienation, it could also express a side of himself which had to stay hidden from the outside world. The color scheme ranges between light reds and blues, which Schiele also applied to the stripes of the jacket. Ugliness in its entirety is rendered here in garish but “beautiful” colors.

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  • Title: Self-Portrait, Grimacing
  • Creator: Egon Schiele
  • Date Created: 1910
  • Technique: Black chalk and gouache on paper
  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings: Signed and dated below right: SCHIELE 10.
  • Physical Dimensions: w307 x h453 cm (Without Frame)
  • Painter: Egon Schiele
  • Original German Title: Selbstdarstellung, grimassierend
  • Type: Drawings
  • Rights: Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 2312, Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 2312


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