Self-Portrait with Striped Shirt, 1910
Black chalk, gouache on paper, 44,3 x 30,5 cm
Leopold Museum Vienna
A young man looks into the world with big, questioning eyes. The eyes, the high forehead, and the bushy and unruly hair accentuate a spiritual side of the sitter. The neck supporting the oversized head appears petite and slender. Schiele sketched the boyish chest with sparse lines and painted the sleeve in shades of watercolor, which act as a compositional balance to the colors of the head.
In terms of color, the artist was also in full control. In the skin, he contrasted the grey of the brow with the pale red of the cheeks and ear, adding traces of blue on the cheek and enhancing the dark brown hair with shades of purple.
This work is in every respect a unique and personal masterpiece in which the carefully considered composition and the intuitiveness of the painting play equal parts.
This text was written by Birgit Summerauer, Curator and Coordinator of the Egon Schiele Documentation Centre at the Leopold Museum, Vienna. You can find the painting in the Leopold collection.