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Egon Schiele 

'Self-Portrait', 1911

Watercolour, gouache and graphite on paper 


I found it to be a really unusual representation of the self because it visually seems that the artist willingly uglified himself. The combination of nudity and pretended, artificial body language look extremely visceral and aggressive to me. The darkened skin tones can allude to scars, bruises and inflammation; consequently, the portrayal becomes vicious and ill-disposed, on the verge of agony, pain and suffering. 

Finally, the whole figure is outlined by a fine, white contour as if constricting and caging the character in space.

The eyes appear to look darkened, offset and oversize, whereas the mouth suggest a gesture of scream. Considering all the above elements altogether, I would say that the overall expression of the figure is 'desperate'. 


© Nikita Chernyshov, all rights reserved