Egon Schiele. (1890 – 1918). Self-portrait with raised bare shoulder. (1912).
Austrian expressionnist painter Egon Schiele has a dark and tormented vision of the world. His older sister Elvira dies at age the 10 years and his father dies whereas the painter is 15 years old. It is at that time that it carries out its first self-portraits. At 17 years, it meets Gustav Klimt, 45 years old, in which it recognizes its model and its spiritual Master. Then it takes its distances with Jugendstil. It then paints many portraits of friends and self-portraits. The drawings in erotic matter of Schiele lead to its arrest in 1912. It spends 21 days in detention pending trial. To the lawsuit, the judge condemns it to 3 days additional for insult with public morals. A hundred of its works mainly of naked, are confiscated by the court. February 6th, 1918, Klimt dies, Schiele carries out its portrait on its bed of death.
Its portraits, its self-portraits and its naked often have strange installations, even caricatural. Schiele realized nearly a hundred self-portraits representing itself sometimes naked, with a desiccated and tormented face, and often in haughty and distant attitudes, in this artist the human body (and even it his), is used for its capacity of expression. The painting are voluntarily shocking. They evoke the erotism and death. Like the work of Klimt. On the other side this superabundance of self-portrait corresponds to a search, with a research : the search for oneself and an interior search. This Self-portrait with raised bare shoulder is very representative of this artist, “sharp sectional view”, equipped with a sharp sensitivity and which it often is felt rejected by its contemporaries.
The point of view of the spectator is located at the level of the mouth. The character is of three quarters although its face is of face. The eye follows the rising diagonal of the shoulder then the glance moves towards the face.
The mouth is near to the geometrical center of the painting.
The left eye and the shoulder in the foreground, which presents “ the sharp flesh ” of the author, like a body skinned in anatomy, are on 2 natural points of interests on the rising diagonal.
Empty spaces occupy a third of pictorial space, full spaces the 2 other thirds.
The picture is built on the rising diagonal which passes on the shoulder the mouth and the left eye.
The hair is represented by sticks which, by their color and the circular form evoke the crown of spine that Christ carries on the cross.
On the face, especially the cheeks and the ear, one clearly perceives the muscles, the flesh and the tendons.
The shoulder ahead plane is represented as if the artist did not have skin, one sees the muscles, the tendons, the flesh, the red of blood. There is a morbid desire and of provocation in the artist but also symbolically the will to present and to look at itself with deepest of its being.
The bottom is much clearer than the character in foreground. The light thus seems to come from the back.
Colors : Harmony between hot colors.
Harmony and contrasts : The carryforward of the colors used to work out the painting on the chromatic circle indicates harmonies between hot colors.
Similars paintings : 12 Self-portraits.