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Houses by the Sea (Row of Houses), 1914

Leopold Museum,
Oil on canvas
99.5×119.7 cm


  • Egon Schiele

    (Tulln 1890–1918 Vienna)

Currently on display at OG3

A row of houses seen from the front, with the individual buildings lined up like pearls, traverses this 1914 painting like a horizontal belt. The picture elements below and above it follow the principle of horizontal layering, generating an impressive example of the flat spaces that dominate the compositions of Egon Schiele (1890–1918) in this period. Proximity and distance are suggested without the means of perspective. This is achieved by making the streaks of terrain in the lower half of the work narrower than the areas of water and sky in the background, which thus appear farther away. The five houses standing next to each other are depicted in distinctive isolation in this indefinable landscape between sky, sea and fields; the cellular connection between buildings in works such as The Small Town III seems far away. The notion of isolation is further enhanced by the anthropomorphic rendering of the houses, turning facades into pale faces and windows into eyes and mouths.

VG, 2022

Additional Text according to Settlement, June 2012:
« Eugenie “Jenny” Steiner, née Pulitzer (1863–1958), was the owner of a silk manufactory and an art collector. In 1938, immediately after the Anschluss, she fled from the National Socialists to Paris, later emigrating to the USA. Egon Schiele’s cityscape Houses by the Sea (Row of Houses), a painting from Jenny Steiner’s collection, was confiscated and sold by the National Socialists in 1938. It was put up for auction at the Dorotheum in 1940, but initially found no buyer. In 1941, it was put up for auction again at the Dorotheum and purchased by Josefine Ernst. Her son, Johann Ernst, sold the painting to Rudolf Leopold in 1955. Since then, the painting Houses by the Sea (Row of Houses) has belonged to the core of the Leopold Collection for Rudolf Leopold, who successfully championed the work of Egon Schiele throughout his life.
Since the painting is undoubtedly the property of the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, but it was just as clearly seized from Jenny Steiner in 1938, it was an important concern of the Leopold Museum to find a joint solution with the heirs after Jenny Steiner.
After long negotiations, it was initially possible in 2011 to reach a fair and equitable solution with Jenny Steiner’s only granddaughter.
In 2012, a joint solution was also found with the other groups of heirs. »

Object data

  • Egon Schiele
Houses by the Sea (Row of Houses)
Art movement
Oil on canvas
99.5×119.7 cm
Signed and dated lower left: Egon Schiele 1914
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 452
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Hundertwasser - Schiele. Imagine Tomorrow, hrsg. von Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Köln 2020 (Leopold Museum, Wien, 21.02.2020-31.08.2020).
  • 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).
  • 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: P281
  • Leopold 1972/2020: 248
  • Natter 2017: 159
  • O. Kallir 1966: 198 / XL
  • O. Kallir (Nirenstein) 1930: 147 / XXXV

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Josef Hoffmann, Wien (1914); (1)
Gustav Nebehay, Wien;
Karl Grünwald, Wien;
Wilhelm Steiner, Wien;
Jenny (Eugenie) Steiner, Wien (1922); (2)

Beschlagnahme/Pfändung durch NS-Behörden am 03.10.1938; (3)
Auktion: Dorotheum Wien, 04.02.1941, 463. Kunstauktion, Los Nr. 68;

Josefine Ernst, Wien (1941); (4)
Johann Ernst, Wien (o.D.); (4)
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (1955-1994); (5)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994).

  1. Schreiben Egon Schieles an Josef Hoffmann vom 16.04.1914, in: Christian M. Nebehay, Egon Schiele 1890-1918. Leben Briefe Gedichte, Salzburg und Wien 1979, S. 306.
  2. Jane Kallir, Egon Schiele. The Complete Works, New York 1998, S. 327, P 281; Sonja Niederacher, Egon Schiele „Häuser am Meer“, Dossier Jenny Steiner vom 21.12.2009, S. 14f.
  3. ÖStA, AdR 06, VVSt., VA 46.567, Aktenvermerk vom 03.10.1938 und Vermögensverkehrsstelle an Reichsfluchtsteuerstelle vom 26. Jänner 1939.
  4. Sonja Niederacher, Egon Schiele „Häuser am Meer“, Dossier Jenny Steiner vom 21.12.2009, S. 16.
  5. Archiv des Leopold Museums, Kaufvertrag vom 01.08.1955.

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