An original drawing by Austrian Expressionist Egon Schiele comes to auction for the first time at Chiswick Auctions on November 22. The well-documented 1908 pencil-on-paper sketch of the artists older sister Melanie is expected to achieve £50,000-£70,000 ($62,025-$86,835) as part of the London firms sale titled 20th Century Art: Paintings and Original Works on Paper.
Schiele (Austrian, 1890-1918) was a prolific draftsman. In his most active years, he easily averaged a drawing a day. His early works (Schiele had his first exhibition in the town of Klosterneuburg, Austria, in 1908) display strong similarities to those of Klimt, as well as influences from Art Nouveau. Because of the intensity and explicit sexuality of his paintings including his nude self-portraits Schiele was viewed by many in the art world as the enfant terrible of the Vienna Secession. Undeniably talented, he was also the acknowledged successor to Gustav Klimt.
Klimt, who generously mentored younger artists, took a particular interest in the young Schiele, buying his drawings, offering to exchange them for some of his own, arranging models for him, and introducing him to potential patrons. He also introduced Schiele to the Wiener Werkstatte, the Vienna Arts & Crafts workshop associated with the Secession.
The tender and elegant drawing of Melanie Schiele Schuster is well documented and is included in the artists catalogue raisonné. Marked on verso with Schieles estate stamp and an inscription by Rudolf Leopold, it was once in the collection of the sitters nephew and heir Norbert Gradisch.
Its first public exhibition appears to have been in 1975 in London at Fischer Fine Art, the firm founded by Austria-born dealers Harry and Wolfgang Georg Fischer. The Fischers were supporters of Schieles legacy, having organized his first one-man show in in 1964 at Marlborough Fine Art in London.
The artwork is also distinguished as a book example. It is depicted in the 1998 Jane Kallir reference book Egon Schiele: The Complete Works.
The auction description and multiple views of the drawing may be accessed online at https://www.chiswickauctions.co.uk/auction/lot/lot-211---egon-schiele-austrian-1890-1918/?lot=237513&so=0&st=&sto=0&au=1000&ef=&et=&ic=False&sd=0&pp=48&pn=1&g=1