Semi-Nude Girl, Reclining (1911) by Egon Schiele

Semi-Nude Girl, Reclining - Schiele, Egon - 1911

Artwork Information

TitleSemi-Nude Girl, Reclining
ArtistEgon Schiele
MediumGouache, watercolor, and pencil with
Dimensions18 1/8 x 12 1/4 in. (45.9 x 31.1 cm)
Current LocationGraphische Sammlung Albertina, Vienna

About Semi-Nude Girl, Reclining

Egon Schiele, an Austrian painter, gained notoriety for his intense and raw sexuality in his work. Some of his works used children and pubescent girls as nude models, making them controversial. One such piece is Semi-Nude Girl, Reclining from 1911, which captures Schiele’s style and subject matter. It depicts a young girl with her legs spread apart while reclining on a surface.

Unlike traditional female nudes in art history that exuded sensuality through their beauty and serenity, Schiele’s women exhibit a nervy humanistic sensuality that emphasized their vulnerability rather than perfection. The girl in Semi-Nude Girl, Reclining exudes this nervous energy while still maintaining the power of her agency with the suggestive pose she holds.

While some may consider Schiele’s use of young models unacceptable by today’s standards, it was not uncommon for artists to use pubescent models during that time. Nonetheless, Schiele took things too far at times with more explicit depictions leading to his censorship by authorities during his lifetime. The controversy behind Schiele’s work has cemented it as an important part of art history and continues to attract attention from scholars and art enthusiasts alike.

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