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Mourning Woman, 1912

Leopold Museum,
Oil on wood
42.5×34 cm


  • Egon Schiele

    (Tulln 1890–1918 Vienna)

Currently on display at OG3
The painting Mourning Woman, whose title was not chosen by the artist himself, shows a figure gazing out of the picture with a melancholy, yet combative expression. Its head is shrouded in a dark cloth and the contours as well as the contrasting, pale complexion almost evoke the impression of a skull. Behind it, the three-quarter profile of a second figure protrudes, whose coloration nearly blends with the reddish shades of the background and whose physiognomy with a pursed mouth and raised eyebrows is characteristic of Schiele’s renderings of his own face. The red hair added here, however, is a trademark of his then partner Wally Neuzil (1894–1917): Attributes become interchangeable and lines are blurring. In his portraits and self-portraits, Schiele presents identity as an unstable concept shaped by projections and conventions and by the questioning of these norms. His portraits continuously reflect the search for one’s own self in others. In some works, this theme blatantly takes center stage.

Object data

  • Egon Schiele
Mourning Woman
Art movement
Oil on wood
42.5×34 cm
Signed and dated lower right: EGON SCHIELE 1912
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 461
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.
  • Wien 1900. Aufbruch in die Moderne, hrsg. von Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Wien 2019 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, ab 15.03.2019).
  • Tobias Natter: Egon Schiele, Sämtliche Gemälde 1909-1918, Köln 2017.
  • Wally Neuzil. Ihr Leben mit Egon Schiele, hrsg. von Diethard Leopold/Stephan Pumberger u.a., Wien 2015 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 27.02.2015-01.06.2015).
  • 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: P224
  • Leopold 1972/2020: 201
  • Natter 2017: 105
  • O. Kallir 1966: 154
  • O. Kallir (Nirenstein) 1930: 116

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Heinrich Benesch, Wien (vor 1925 bis 1947);
Otto Benesch, Wien (1947-1964);
Eva Benesch, Wien (1964-1983);
Jenö Eisenberger, Wien (1983); (1)
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (1983-1994); (2)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994).

  1. Sonja Niederacher, Egon Schiele. Trauernde Frau, Dossier vom 30.04.2011.
  2. Archiv des Leopold Museums, Bestätigung der Giese & Schweiger Kunsthandel Ges.m.b.H. vom 19.02.2002 sowie Quittung vom 30.09.1983.

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