13 de março de 2011

Egon Schiele - The Embrace

The Embrace - 1917
Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere - Vienna
When we watch this painting we immediately understand that it exhales a reflection of harmony between both lovers, Egon Schiele and his wife Edith Harms. They got married in 1915 and Schiele’s paintings, on the months that followed the wedding, became less tortured and depressive. In this large canvas they lie on a rumpled white sheet over a yellow cover with their arms interlocked. The woman’s hair tumbles over the pillow, her face is turned away and her hand in placed on the man’s shoulder in a manner reminiscent of Klimt’s The Kiss, which Schiele, as a friend and protégé of Klimt, knew well. The man, who must be Schiele himself, is gaunt and contorted but less so than in previous self-portraits. Schiele’s drawings and paintings have frequently drawn the accusation of pornography but, as other have pointed out, they are imbued with humanity, which sets them apart from such works. His obsession with sexuality, however, is akin to religious fervor, and he is reported as saying that he wanted his works to be experienced in that way. The tender unity of “The Embrace” marks a distinct change from the explicitly sexual paintings and drawings that preceded it and reflects Schiele’s growing contentment in married life. However, at six month pregnant Edith died in the Spanish Influenza epidemic that swept through Europe after the war. Schiele died three days later, at the age of twenty-eight. If you care to read more about Schiele’s life please visit here my blog "Manifesto".
Source: Stephen Farthing - Paintings at Belvedere

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