Austrian painting

Agony, Egon Schiele, 1912

  • Author: Egon Schiele
  • Museum: Pinacoteca in Munich
  • Year: 1912
  • Click image for larger version

Description of the picture:

Agony - Egon Schiele. 1912. Oil on canvas. 70x80cm

The agonizing patient, the priest-monk leaned over him - and that was the whole simple plot of the picture of the great expressionist. The author, as if anticipating his own fate, may have portrayed one of his worst dreams.
In the eyes of the patient, horror and a desperate attempt to grasp the life that is rapidly leaving his body. The priest acts as a contrast: his stern and calm face is designed to instill hope, confidence in the continuation of existence, reduce fear of the great mystery.
The viewer, first of all, draws attention to the hands of the heroes of the picture, as if they are eager to accept a prayer position, overcoming an invisible obstacle. Empty sockets of the patient give no hope, the tragedy is near. Masters are interested in the intensity of death-cramps, a surge of activity before the onset of complete rest and immobility.
The coloring of the work, which is dominated by red-brown tones, conveys an atmosphere of saturation with energy. The mood of work is complicated. A mixture of contemplative detachment and active sympathy, indifference and pity, good and evil - so characteristic of many works of the master, here is revealed in full force.
For many connoisseurs of painting Schiele, there is a certain provocative meaning in this picture. If you look closely, it seems that the monk "squeezes" life out of the unfortunate. And the expression of the priest’s face is considered by some to be somewhat infernal.
The canvas is woven of their individual pieces, like a cheap blanket in a homeless shelter. In this poetry of the social day, the author draws his inspiration and new ideas. The painting was created at a time when the artist begins to win the favor of criticism and recognition of the elite public. At the same time, the master is going through several personal crises at once, his life also cannot be called calm.
The experience and aesthetic search of his path gave birth to this picture, prophetic and tragic.

Other pictures of Egon Schiele
Self-portrait, 1914
Pregnant woman and death
Portrait of Valerie Neutzel

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