Houses by the River (The Old City) (1914; Vienna, Austria) by Egon Schiele

Houses by the River (The Old City) - Egon Schiele - 1914; Vienna, Austria

Artwork Information

TitleHouses by the River (The Old City)
ArtistEgon Schiele
Date1914; Vienna, Austria
Dimensions100 x 120.5 cm
Art MovementArt Nouveau (Modern)
Current LocationThyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain

About Houses by the River (The Old City)

The artwork, “Houses by the River (The Old City)” by the artist Egon Schiele, was completed in 1914 in Vienna, Austria. This painting, executed in oil on canvas, belongs to the Art Nouveau (Modern) art movement and measures 100 by 120.5 centimeters. It features the genre of cityscape and is housed in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum located in Madrid, Spain.

The painting depicts a dense assembly of houses alongside a river, creating an urban scene that feels both compressed and expansive. Schiele has used thick, textured strokes and a muted color palette with splashes of brighter colors to capture the essence of the architectural forms. The elongated shapes of the buildings and the intricate detailing provide a stark, almost stark atmosphere which was a distinctive characteristic of Schiele’s work. The river, rendered in broad, sweeping horizontal strokes, creates a contrasting element of calm and open space to the otherwise crowded cityscape above. The expressive use of line and the dark outlines imbue the work with a certain tension and energy. The rooftops with their intermittent red hues draw the eye and add to the complexity of the composition. Overall, “Houses by the River (The Old City)” is a vivid portrayal of an urban environment as seen through the lens of a pioneering modern artist.

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