Egon Schiele (1890-1918)
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Egon Schiele (1890-1918)

Erich Lederer Standing with Hand on Hip

Egon Schiele (1890-1918)
Erich Lederer Standing with Hand on Hip
signed and dated 'Egon Schiele 1913' (lower right)
gouache, watercolour and pencil on paper
19 x 12 5/8 in. (48.3 x 32.1 cm.)
Executed in 1913
Erich Lederer, Vienna & Geneva (no. 25).
Elisabeth Lederer, Geneva, by descent from the above.
Private collection, New York, by whom acquired in 1999. Acquired from the above by the present owner.
R. Leopold, Egon Schiele: Gemälde, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Salzburg, 1972, p. 573.
A. Comini, Egon Schiele's Portraits, Berkeley, 1974 (illustrated pl. 105).
G. Malafarina, L'Opera di Egon Schiele, Milan, 1982, no. 242c.
C.M. Nebehay, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele und die Familie Lederer, Bern, 1987, p. 71.
C.M. Nebehay, Egon Schiele: Von der Skizze zum Bild, Vienna & Salzburg, 1989 (illustrated fig. 44).
J. Kallir, Egon Schiele: The Complete Works, London, 1998, no. 1219, p. 491 (illustrated).
New York, Neue Galerie, Egon Schiele: the Ronald S. Lauder and Serge Sabarsky Collections, October 2005 - February 2006, no. D100, p. 265 (illustrated).
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Adrienne Everwijn-Dumas
Adrienne Everwijn-Dumas

Lot Essay

Erich Lederer Standing with Hand on Hip is the final work in a series of gouache portraits of the fifteen year-old son of August and Serena Lederer, that Egon Schiele painted around Christmas and New Year 1912-13 in preparation for a commissioned oil portrait. Selected from around twenty such gouache studies that Schiele made of Erich Lederer at this time and depicting his subject standing in profile, face turned to the viewer and hand on hip, this work is the one that Schiele chose to serve as the basis of the well-known oil portrait of Lederer, now in the Kunstmuseum, Basel. As can be seen on its borders, the gouache was subsequently marked up by Schiele using a numbered grid, to guide and assist in an accurate transferring of its image onto the larger canvas.
Schiele had been introduced to the Lederer family by Gustav Klimt as a favour to the younger artist in the wake of his troubles in Neulengbach when he had been arrested on a false charge of corrupting a minor. August and Serena Lederer were among Klimt's most important patrons but it was their son Erich who was to become one of Schiele's greatest supporters and champions. Indeed, it appears to have been the fifteen-year-old Erich who instigated the idea of having his portrait painted by Schiele and in the winter of 1912 Schiele was invited to the Lederer's palatial home in Gyr (now in Hungary) for this purpose.

Schiele made several studies of Erich a few days before Christmas and returned to make a few more in the first days of January 1913. It was only the more successful or promising studies that, as in this work, he chose to work further on, using gouache highlights to round out the composition. The pose of Erich Lederer Standing with Hand on Hip is unique among these works in that it depicts Erich standing, as if in profile, but with face turned in full contemplation of the viewer. In a sublime act of doubling, first remarked upon by Alessandra Comini, the angle of Erich's arm leaning out from his body, mirrors exactly the angle of his ear sticking out from the side of his head. This is a feature echoed also in the finished oil which adds a further symmetry by paring the fingers of Lederer's hand as it splays across his hip.

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