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Sick Russian, 1915

Leopold Museum,
Black chalk, gouache on brown paper, mounted on Japanese paper
43.6×30.4 cm


  • Egon Schiele

    (Tulln 1890–1918 Vienna)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
Unlike many of his fellow artists, Egon Schiele (1890-1918) was initially exempt from military service during World War I due to a congenital heart condition. In the spring of 1915, however, he was pronounced fit for service and, shortly after his wedding to Edith Harms (1893–1918), was sent to Neuhaus (present-day Jindřichův Hradec) in Bohemia to receive his basic training. Upon entering the military, Schiele became part of a social structure that stood in stark contrast to his repeated periods of self-isolation in earlier years. From the beginning, he sought the help of influential supporters in a bid to be transferred to the war press office in Vienna. Instead, he was deployed to work on building the city’s defenses and to guard transports of Russian prisoners of war between Gänserndorf and Vienna. In the second half of 1915, as well as the following year during his service at the prisoner of war camp in the Lower Austrian town of Mühling, Schiele created a series of haunting portraits of prisoners. Marked by a sense of help- and hopelessness, they appear at the mercy of the military camp’s organization and its mechanisms.

Object data

  • Egon Schiele
Sick Russian
Art movement
Graphic work
Black chalk, gouache on brown paper, mounted on Japanese paper
43.6×30.4 cm
Signed and dated lower right: EGON SCHIELE 1915; designated lower right: KRANKER RUSSE
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 3639
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • 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).
  • 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: D1767

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Karl Grünwald, Wien (o.D.);
Johann Piering jun., Waidhofen a. d. Thaya (bis 1968);
Marlborough Fine Art, London (1969);
Auktion: 03.12.1974, Christie´s London, Lot 74
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (1974-1994); (1)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994).

  1. Sonja Niederacher, Egon Schiele. “Kranker Russe”, Dossier vom 31.12.2014
Decision of the Advisory Board (PDF)

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