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Self-Portrait with Raised Bare Shoulder, 1912

Leopold Museum,
Oil on wood
42.2×33.9 cm


  • Egon Schiele

    (Tulln 1890–1918 Vienna)

Currently on display at OG3
The work Self-Portrait with Raised Bare Shoulder, painted on wood, was created in 1912. It is one of a number of emphatic small-scale self-portraits by Egon Schiele (1890–1918) which are particularly expressive despite, or rather because of, their restricted format. Rather than being a classical portrait, which would be limited to the head, the shoulder – as a strangely amorphous eversion – forces its way into the rendering as representative of the rest of the body. Schiele depicted his connection to his own body both as a fusion and a dissociation. His facial expression, which is a mixture of incredulous astonishment and distressed outcry, seems to reflect this realization. The individual is foreign to itself – or as Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) put it: “The ego is not master in its own house.” This addresses a central theme of Viennese Modernism: the individual becoming a dividual – something that can be divided; the crisis of the subject which no longer comprehends itself as an entity; the crisis whose venue is the body.

A closer look

The artwork explained by
curator Verena Gamper

Object data

  • Egon Schiele
Self-Portrait with Raised Bare Shoulder
Art movement
Oil on wood
42.2×33.9 cm
Signed and dated lower right using pencil (carved): EGON SCHIELE 1912.
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 653
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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
Catalogue raisonne
  • J. Kallir 1990/1998: P227
  • Leopold 1972/2020: 209
  • O. Kallir 1966: 173
  • Natter 2017: 117

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Galerie Wolfgang Gurlitt, München (vor 1949-1952);
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (1952-1994); (1)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994)

  1. Michael Wladika, Egon Schiele. Selbstbildnis mit hochgezogener nackter Schulter, Dossier vom 16.01.2012, S. 42-44

For provenance related information, please contact us.