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Transfiguration (The Blind II), 1915

Leopold Museum,
Oil, opaque color on canvas
201.2×171.6×3.9 cm


  • Egon Schiele

    (Tulln 1890–1918 Vienna)

Currently on display at OG3
The painting Transfiguration, which Egon Schiele (1890–1918) also titled The Blind, was created in the first half of 1915. In August of that same year it was first exhibited at Guido Arnot’s gallery on Vienna’s Kärntnerring; however, like the 1912 painting Hermits, another large-scale work, it remained unsold until Schiele’s premature death. In a double self-portrait that covers the full height of the large-scale canvas, we encounter the artist in a short, monk-like habit, continuing a motif familiar from Schiele’s earlier self-depictions. The two figures are positioned in front of the flat background of a landscape, symbolized by colorful flowers and tufts of grass, which indicates a horizon just below the upper edge of the painting. Through partially unbroken lines, the parceled ground develops larger areas which mediate on a formal level between the patchwork structure of the ground and the closed body shapes of the double self-portrait.
While the lower figure is still touching the ground with its feet and is turned towards the observers with ostentatiously opened eyes, the upper figure seems to have lost all contact to worldly matters and to already have crossed over to the other side. The red eyelids stretch over the refracting eyes; hollow features and fingertips limply brushing against each other speak of parting and death. With this painting, Schiele achieved one of his most enigmatic and ambiguous self-stagings – shortly before his wedding to Edith Harms and his entry into military service.

Object data

  • Egon Schiele
Transfiguration (The Blind II)
Art movement
Oil, opaque color on canvas
201.2×171.6×3.9 cm
Signed and dated lower left: EGON SCHIELE 1915
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 467
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).
  • Klimt persönlich. Bilder - Briefe - Einblicke, hrsg. von Tobias G. Natter/Franz Smola, Wien 2012 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 24.02.2012–27.08.2012).
  • Egon Schiele. Melancholie und Provokation, hrsg. von Elisabeth/Diethard Leopold, Wien 2011 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 23.09.2011–19.04.2012).
  • 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: P288
  • Leopold 1972/2020: 265
  • Natter 2017: 179
  • O. Kallir 1966: 206 / XXXVII
  • O. Kallir (Nirenstein) 1930: 149 / XXXIV
Conservation patron
Inge Santner-Cyrus

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Nachlass Egon Schiele, Wien (1918);
Arthur Stemmer, Wien / London (1918-1954); (1)
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (1954-1994); (2)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994).

  1. Otto Nirenstein, Egon Schiele. Persönlichkeit und Werk, Berlin 1930, S. 94, Nr. 149; Sonja Niederacher, Egon Schiele. „Entschwebung“, Dossier vom 21.12.2009, S. 10
  2. Diethard Leopold, Rudolf Leopold - Kunstsammler, Wien 2003, S. 58f.

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