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Egon Schiele - Selfportrait with Peacock Waistcoat

Category: Exhibition 9. May 2017

In his short but intensive creative life, Egon Schiele repeatedly focused on the human figure as his central subject. He did not only question roles and displays of lifestyles, he also used to assign roles in his pictures. In the Self-Portrait with Peacock Vest, he presents himself as a saviour, as someone who brings the world truth and whose sublimeness is mirrored in his gaze, his posture and his outfit. According to Albertina Museum director Klaus Albrecht Schröder, this is a case of self-staging and not of self-representation in the sense of a portrait. At the time he painted this picture Schiele was extremely impoverished, and it is fair to assume that he would not have been able to afford a costly garment like the peacock vest. The hand gesture alludes to Byzantine icons of Christ Pantocrator, the „Almighty“, as an indication that Schiele ascribes a role to the artist, or more generally, to art. On the occasion of the exhibition „Egon Schiele“, in our film the director of the Albertina, Klaus Albrecht Schröder, introduces us to the secrets of this picture (written by Wolfgang Haas | translated by Cem Angeli)

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