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Reclining Woman, 1917

Leopold Museum,
Oil on canvas
96×171 cm


  • Egon Schiele

    (Tulln 1890–1918 Vienna)

Currently on display at OG3
For the monumental staging of this female nude, only partially covered with a piece of cloth, Egon Schiele (1890–1918) chooses a horizontal format and displays the subject from a top view. The posture of her wide-spread legs is mirrored in her arms folded behind her head, thus structuring the composition in two opposite, roughly symmetrical body halves. This projection of femininity expresses eroticism, sensuality and desire in an equally immediate and unadorned manner: Neither the amorphous background in golden yellow nor the white, billowing sheet offers any narrative context; on the contrary, the focus on the libido is even intensified by the textile that covers the center of the body. As evidenced by Exposed Reclining Woman. Study for ‘Reclining Woman’, 1916, the artist’s wife Edith Schiele presumably posed for this work; the head was altered, however. The painting was shown at the 49th Exhibition of the Vienna Secession in the spring of 1918, for which Schiele had also designed the poster “Round Table”. Thus, it was part of the exhibition that marked his first major financial success in Vienna.

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The artwork explained by
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Object data

  • Egon Schiele
Reclining Woman
Art movement
Oil on canvas
96×171 cm
Signed and dated lower half right: EGON SCHIELE 1917
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 626
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • 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.
  • Die nackte Wahrheit. Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka und andere Skandale, hrsg. von Tobias G. Natter/Max Hollein, München 2005 (Ausst.-Kat. Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, 28.01.2005-24.01.2005; Leopold Museum, Wien, 31.05.2005-22.08.2005).
  • 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: P306
  • Leopold 1972/2020: 278
  • O. Kallir 1966: 222
  • O. Kallir (Nirenstein) 1930: 167
  • Natter 2017: 196

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Karl Grünwald, Wien (o.D.);
Richard Lanyi, Wien (o.D.); (1)
Otto Kranz, Wien (vor 1925); (2)
Friedrich (Fritz) Wolff, Wien / New York (vor 1928-1939); (3)

Dr. Bruno Grimschitz, Wien (1939-1948);
1948 Rückstellung an Frederik Knize, New York;
Annie Knize, New York (ab 1949);
Eine Ausfuhrgenehmigung wurde vom Bundesdenkmalamt und dem Bundesministerium für Unterricht nicht erteilt. (4)

Fritz Kamm, Zug (Schweiz) / Galerie Würthle, Wien (o.D.);
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (vor 1959-1994); (5)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994).

  1. Otto Nirenstein, Egon Schiele. Persönlichkeit und Werk, Berlin 1930, S. 102, Nr. 167.
  2. Galerie Würthle, Katalog zu „Egon Schiele“, Wien 1925, Nr. 32.
  3. Neue Galerie/Hagenbund, Katalog zu „Gedächtnisausstellung Egon Schiele, Wien 1928, Nr. 68.
  4. Sonja Niederacher, Egon Schiele. Liegende Frau, Dossier vom 16.05.2011, S. 9 und S. 11-15.
  5. Niederacher, Dossier, S. 15-17.

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