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Erwin Dominik Osen with Fingertips Touching (“Mime van Osen”), 1910

Leopold Museum,
Black chalk, watercolor, gouache on paper
38.3×30.3 cm


  • Egon Schiele

    (Tulln 1890–1918 Vienna)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
In his memoirs Erinnerungen an Egon Schiele, Arthur Roessler (1877—1955) dedicated an entire chapter to the “adventurer” Erwin Osen (1891—1970), describing him in detail as “tall, slim, gaunt like an Arab, with the pale and beardless face of a ‘fallen angel’” and liking him to “the character of the ‘hero’ in an exciting silver-screen spectacle”, his “toned physique” steeped in “cinematic drama”. His “obviously virtuosic mimic expressive ability” was accompanied by “the no less nimble verbal expressiveness of the facile, playful fancy of a born improviser”. The encounter between this exalted man and Egon Schiele (1890–1918), who was described as shy by contemporary witnesses, was indeed consequential, as Schiele was “utterly enthralled” by Osen and his female companion Moa Mandu, and “to be sure, even more by the man than the girl”. In his 1910 portraits of the “Mime van Osen” with exalted facial expressions and gestures, including Erwin Dominik Osen, Nude with Crossed Arms and Mime van Osen, Schiele created some of the most emphatic depictions of expressive corporeality, which would pave the way for his specific form of Expressionism.

Object data

  • Egon Schiele
Erwin Dominik Osen with Fingertips Touching (“Mime van Osen”)
Art movement
Graphic work
Black chalk, watercolor, gouache on paper
38.3×30.3 cm
Signed lower right: EGON SCHIELE 1910; designated upper left: MIME VAN OSEN
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 2348
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.
  • Egon Schiele. Melancholie und Provokation, hrsg. von Elisabeth/Diethard Leopold, Wien 2011 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 23.09.2011–19.04.2012).
  • Rudolf Leopold u.a. :Egon Schiele und Horst Janssen. Selbstinszenierung, Eros und Tod, Oldenburg 2004 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 05.03.2004-28.06.2004).
  • Jane Kallir: Egon Schiele - The complete works. Expanded edition including a biography and a catalogue raisonné, New York 1998.
Catalogue raisonne
  • J. Kallir 1990/1998: D600
  • Leopold 1972/2020: Taf. 35

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Guido Arnot, Wien/London (vor 1919);
Galerie Würthle, Wien (o.D.);
unbekannter Privatbesitz, Wien;
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (vor 1972-1994); (1)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (seit 1994).

  1. Sonja Niederacher, Egon Schiele. Erwin Dominik Osen mit aneinandergelegten Fingerspitzen, Dossier vom 31.12.2014
Decision of the Advisory Board (PDF)

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