Egon Schiele, Autumn Tree in Stirred Air (Winter Tree), 1912 © Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 449

Egon Schiele, Autumn Tree in Stirred Air (Winter Tree), 1912

Schiele’s autumn trees are human allegories. He shows a brightly whitewashed tree trunk, from which – behind the background of white-greyish cloud formations – greater and smaller branches form a treetop. The dark ridge of hills isolates the sensitively rendered clouded sky from the ochre-coloured earth. The irregularly shaped branches symbolize the various living conditions. The main branches bend, twigged by the storm, thinner branches flutter in the wind, and others feebly droop down. Besides being a convincing depiction of a wind-blown early winter day – Schiele also titled the picture »Winter Tree« – he succeeds in an accurate analogy of life.

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