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Self-Portrait with Lowered Head, 1912

Leopold Museum,
Oil on wood
42.2×33.7 cm


  • Egon Schiele

    (Tulln 1890–1918 Vienna)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
With his self-stagings that explored all facets of gestures and facial expressions, Egon Schiele (1890–1918) from 1910 developed his own, distinctive form of Expressionism, focusing on the crisis of the individual. This self-portrait with its grotesque and sinister appearance was cretaed in connection to the painting Hermits: The posture of the head and the characteristic gesture with wide-spread fingers are reflected in the left figure of the large-scale work. The lowered head and the gaze directed out of the picture in a contrary movement make the white crescents of the eyeballs stand out below the black eyebrows with diabolic intensity, producing a vortex-like effect. The contrast between the conspicuously dark complexion and the white of the background, which spills over into the smock almost imperceptibly, is dramaturgically interesting as well. During his life, Schiele created about 200 self-portraits, most of them in the years between 1910 and 1914. Photographs taken by the artist Anton Josef Trčka (1893–1940) confirm that Schiele used not only mirrors but also cameras to explore the full range of gestures and facial expressions.

Object data

  • Egon Schiele
Self-Portrait with Lowered Head
Art movement
Oil on wood
42.2×33.7 cm
Signed and dated lower right: EGON SCHIELE 1912
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 462
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Max Oppenheimer. Expressionist der ersten Stunde, hrsg. von Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Wien 2023 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 06.10.2023 –25.02.2024).
  • 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.
  • Wilhelm Lehmbruck. Retrospektive, hrsg. von Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Köln 2016 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 8.04.2016-8.07.2016).
  • 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: P228
  • Leopold 1972/2020: 202
  • Natter 2017: 109

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Margarethe Scheider, Wien und Saloniki (ab 1917- mind. 1960); (1)
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (vor 1964-1994); (2)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994).

  1. Archiv des Leopold Museums, E-Mail von Melanie Davis an Mag. Verena Gamper (LMPS) vom 16.03.2018
  2. Sonja Niederacher, Egon Schiele. Selbstbildnis mit gesenktem Kopf, Dossier vom 16.01.2012

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