Seated Couple (Egon and Edith Schiele) is a 1915 portrait of intertwined couples, painted by Austrian artist Egon Schiele. The painting showcases Schiele’s expressionism style and is an example of his allegorical paintings. It’s a watercolor, pencil, and die stamp medium mounted on cardboard.
The model for Seated Couple was likely Schiele’s wife, Edith Harms who died three days before the artist due to influenza during the 1918 Flu Pandemic. Tragically, both Egon and Edith passed away that year. Edith was a woman of greater social standing than Wally – another model – who no longer modeled for him cause he married Harms.
Interestingly, many portraits depicting intertwined couples by Schiele reveal a sense of separation or anxiety; Seated Couple is no exception here. Additionally, Schiele tends to shift from one-dimensional descriptions within portraiture works towards capturing complex interiors or distinctive qualities in his subjects’ faces.
Schiele’s works are often considered grotesque, erotic or disturbing by some viewers. However, it has captured the attention of many art admirers because of his unique portrayal style through the use of striking lines and color schemes in contrast with less detailed areas.