This self-portrait is one of the most popular in Schiele’s work. The artist has squeezed himself into a horizontal format, cropping the chest and hair. The head turns to the right although his eyes look in the other direction. This evokes a strong sense of tension in the picturek which is carried through to the sitter’s surroundings. the twig with leaves and Chinese lanterns on the left of the picture echoes the inclined head while the slanting shoulders create a slight contrast to the rigidly structured background. The lines within the main forms are also in tune with the outstanding composition. Note, for example, the line of the shoulder on the right, which is continued by the jawbone. Schiele’s use of colour is also on a par with his sensitive drawing. Striking features include the rich nuances of the skin and the light eye with the red pupil. In this portrait Schiele depicted himself as a sensitive person and artist.
Artist: Egon Schiele
Nationality: Austrian, 1890 – 1918
Title: Self-Portrait with Chinese Lantern Plant
Date Created: 1912; Vienna, Austria
Location: Leopold Museum, Vienna
Dimensions: w398 x h322 cm (Without Frame) 156″ x 126″