Egon Schiele’s Death and the Maiden is an iconic painting created in 1915. The painting portrays a naked woman looking into a hand mirror, while death looms behind her with an hourglass. This masterpiece was created to memorialize the end of Schiele’s affair with Wally Neuzil.
Schiele uses his exceptional skills in moody, symbolic expressions to create this artwork full of intertwined bodies. The mood of the painting is one of despair as Schiele believed he was being taken away in death’s arms. It is evident that Death and the Maiden had influence from his master Gustav Klimt.
As part of a series of three paintings, Self-Portrait with Black Vase (1911), The Holy Family (1913), and Death and the Maiden (1915), it combines Expressionism and Symbolism to touch on themes holding great significance within both artists’ careers.
Death and the Maiden is one of Schiele’s best works, now located in Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere located in Vienna. Its powerfully expressive symbolism, depicting Death enveloping life carries significant meaning among art enthusiasts worldwide.