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Blind Mother, 1914

Leopold Museum,
Oil on canvas
99×120 cm


  • Egon Schiele

    (Tulln 1890–1918 Vienna)

Currently on display at OG3
This large-scale painting was created in the spring of 1914 and was shortly thereafter selected by the jury of the Munich Secession for their annual summer exhibition. Contrary to his icon-like panel paintings of earlier years, such as Dead Mother I, 1910, or Mother and Child, 1912, Egon Schiele (1890–1918) here stages the mother and her children as full-length figures. What remains unchanged, however, is the dominating sensation of anguish. The sightless, breastfeeding nude encloses her children in a block-like formation, her bent legs spread wide and her upper body leaning forward. The unusual body posture of the mother in Schiele’s work was inspired by Auguste Rodin’s (1840–1917) sculpture Crouching Woman, dating from 1880/82 and meant to represent a lost soul as a caryatid in his Gates of Hell. But Rodin’s bronze representation of vulnerability is transferred by Schiele into a geometric and tectonic depiction which follows the horizontal format of the landscape and eliminates any expression of tenderness and feeling in the body. The pale block of the body stands out from the surrounding space, rendered in earthy colors and amorphous facets. Only the stylized cradle in the background – which already entails the association of a coffin – resumes the orthogonal structure of the Cubist body. Schiele transforms the nourishing, protective notion of the mother into a dark distortion.

Object data

  • Egon Schiele
Blind Mother
Art movement
Oil on canvas
99×120 cm
Signed and dated lower right: EGON SCHIELE 1914
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 483
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Rudolf Leopold: Egon Schiele. Gemälde, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, hrsg. von Elisabeth Leopold, München 2020.
  • Tobias Natter: Egon Schiele, Sämtliche Gemälde 1909-1918, Köln 2017.
  • Trotzdem Kunst! Österreich 1914-1918, hrsg. von Elisabeth Leopold/Ivan Ristić u.a., Wien 2014 (Ausst-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 09.05.2014-15.09.2014).
  • Egon Schiele. Melancholie und Provokation, hrsg. von Elisabeth/Diethard Leopold, Wien 2011 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 23.09.2011–19.04.2012).
  • Wien 1900. Sammlung Leopold, hrsg. von Diethard Leopold/Peter Weinhäupl, Wien u.a. 2009.
  • Körper, Gesicht, Seele. Frauenbilder vom 16. bis ins 21. Jahrhundert, hrsg. von Elisabeth Leopold, Wien 2006 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 09.06.2006-02.10.2006).
  • Jane Kallir: Egon Schiele - The complete works. Expanded edition including a biography and a catalogue raisonné, New York 1998.
  • Otto Kallir: Egon Schiele. Oeuvre Catalogue of the Paintings, New York 1966.
  • Otto Nirenstein: Egon Schiele. Persönlichkeit und Werk, Berlin 1930.
Catalogue raisonne
  • J. Kallir 1990/1998: P272
  • Leopold 1972/2020: 247
  • Natter 2017: 155
  • O. Kallir 1966: 193
  • O. Kallir (Nirenstein) 1930: 139

If you have further information on this object, please contact us.


Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Adolf Neufeld, Wien (vor 1920); (1)
Neue Galerie, Wien (vor 1930); (2)
Wolfgang Gurlitt, Bad Aussee und München (vor 1949); (3)
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (1952-1994); (4)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994).

  1. Österreichisches Museum für Kunst und Industrie, Katalog zur Kunstschau 1920, Wien 1920, S. 42, Nr. 81
  2. Otto Nirenstein, Egon Schiele. Persönlichkeit und Werk, Berlin u.a. 1930, S. 88, Nr. 139, Tafel 100
  3. Michael Wladika, Egon Schiele, Blinde Mutter. Dossier zu „LM Inv. Nr. 483“ vom 16.01.2012, S. 46; Neue Galerie der Stadt Linz, Katalog zu Werken der Malerei und Zeichenkunst des XIX. u. XX. Jahrhunderts, Linz 1949, S. 28; Nr. 212
  4. Diethard Leopold, Rudolf Leopold – Kunstsammler, Wien 2003, S. 23f.; Wladika, Dossier zu LM 483, S. 47f.

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