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Boy at the Spring (The Spring), 1923

Leopold Museum,
Oil on canvas
84.5×125 cm


  • Albin Egger-Lienz

    (Stribach near Lienz 1868–1926 Zwölfmagreien/Bolzano)

Currently on display at EG
Man and nature as a unity – this is how the painter Albin Egger-Lienz (1868–1926) formulated the figure in his painting Boy at the Spring. Rendered with short, broad brushstrokes, the shepherd boy is lying on the ocher and brownish earth, supporting himself on strong, bent arms, drinking from a water hole. Egger-Lienz would execute the same motif several times with small differences. Here, the artist developed the body and ground with equally dynamic brushstrokes. Contrasts between light and dark, contours and distinct colors allow the figure to grow from the clayey soil. The light blue area in the background was modulated in a more restrained manner. Egger-Lienz brought tension into this well-structured composition with the diagonal placement of the body sprawled out into the image plane, which we see from a top view. A heel protruding over the high, arched horizon suggests spatiality. The three-dimensional, cohesive forms create an impression of timelessness, universality and monumentality.

Object data

  • Albin Egger-Lienz
Boy at the Spring (The Spring)
Art movement
Expressionism, Naturalism I Realism
Oil on canvas
84.5×125 cm
Signed lower left: Egger Lienz
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 531
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Wien 1900. Aufbruch in die Moderne, hrsg. von Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Wien 2019 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, ab 15.03.2019).
  • Albin Egger-Lienz: 1868-1926, hrsg. von Gert Ammann/Michael Fuhr, Wien 2008 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 15.02.2008–29.05.2008).
  • Wilfried Kirschl: Albin Egger-Lienz: 1868-1926; das Gesamtwerk; [Monographie in zwei Bänden], Wien 1996.
Catalogue raisonne
  • Kirschl 1996: M 591

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Dr. Emil Reisch, Wien (ab 1923-1933); (1)
DI Walter Reisch, Wien (ab 1933-1972);
DI Christoph Reisch, Wien (ab 1972); (2)
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (vor 1976-1994); (3)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (seit 1994).

  1. Wilfried Kirschl, Albin Egger-Lienz: 1868-1926. Das Gesamtwerk, Wien 1996, Bd. 2, S. 569, M 591
  2. Deutsche Biographie, Eintrag zu Emil Reisch [02.11.2020]; Bestätigung von DI Christoph Reisch vom 27.03.2003; Telefonische Auskunft von Dora Jedek vom 20.03.2008
  3. Mündliche Auskunft Dr. Elisabeth Leopold vom 23.10.2020

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