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Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele (1890–1918)
Embrace, 1914
Graphite pencil
19 1/8 x 12 3/4 inches (485 x 323 mm)
Bequest of Fred Ebb; 2005.160
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In this depiction of the artist in the arms of an unidentified companion, the jagged, seemingly erratic contours suggest a psychological agitation characteristic of Schiele's self-portraits. A feeling of tension derives from the position of the artist's head as well as from the placement of the couple to the left of the sheet, with the figure of the woman cropped. The resulting asymmetry conveys the artist's emotional unbalance and emphasizes his egocentric character while demonstrating the amazing technical agility he brought to bear to express a wide range of emotions.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.