Egon Schiele wrote many self-portraits, among them the “Self-Portrait with a Chinese Lantern and Fruits”, written in 1912, undoubtedly stands out. An outstanding masterpiece of the artist, where the impeccable technique of painting and the complete harmony of the image produce an irresistible impression. This portrait wants to admire for a long time and, at last, to understand what exactly he is considering so closely, about what he thinks so thoughtfully.
There are no broken lines, no bright color spots, only a delicate combination of colors, and the Chinese lantern simply bewitches with its exquisite beauty.
In this portrait the artist is immersed in himself, in his reflections. The look is very detached and these huge dark eyes reflect the movement of the soul, the eternal search for the innovator.
How contrasting is the self-portrait written in 1914. Only two years have passed, but how the world and the artist changed, and most importantly the attitude towards the world has changed, there is no philosophical contemplation or immersion, only a very close look. He is here like a naked nerve, it somehow hurts and this pain is transmitted to us through time and space. And only a true artist can express this state with meager pictorial means.
The white background of the sheet is absolutely neutral. The master, working with a rigid line and catchy color, deprives his body of confidence and gives the movements a sharp, nervous character. The outlines of the figure are wrong and angular. The only bright, screaming orange tone strengthens expression.