Egon Schiele (1890-1918): Mother with two children, 1915

Egon Schiele (1890-1918): Mother with two children, 1915

5/16/2021, 11:52:55 AM
Egon Schiele (1890-1918): Mother with two children, 1915, Oil on canvas, 150 x 160 cm, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna #Schiele #Motherwithtwochildren #Art #Painters #Paintings #Arthistory #ModernArt #pittore #pittura #pintor #pintura #peintre #peinture #Arte #artista #Maler #Malerei #oilpainting #figurative #masterpiece #masters #kunst #EgonSchiele #symbolist #expressionism Begun and substantially completed in 1915, Mother with Two Children represents a minor meta-morphosis in Schiele's attitude toward motherhood. At least this woman, unlike many of his earlier depictions of mothers, is not dead. The artist's relationship to his family was improving, and he was inclined to view his mother (who posed for the present painting) more charitably. Furthermore, an infant nephew had now entered his life: The son of his sister Gerti and his best friend Anton Peschka was born toward the end of 1914. Nonetheless, the painting can hardly be considered a family portrait. Though Schiele's orientation was conditioned by personal circumstances, his allegories were never explicitly autobiographical. At first glance, the threesome depicted in Mother with Two Children seems to constitute a break from the duos who inhabit most of Schiele's allegories. However, it is still the two infants who carry the weight of the picture's message. They are, after all, a prototypical Schiele pairing, representing two antithetical and yet complementary responses to life: the one on the left passive, asleep, sightless; the other active, awake, a "seer." The mother, by comparison, fades into the background. She may not be dead, but she is exhausted. Having already performed her most important function, she survives only to nurture passively the life she has created.

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