Egon Schiele (1890 - 1918): Landscape at Krumau (detail)4/14/2021, 2:00:14 PM
Egon Schiele (1890 - 1918): Landscape at Krumau (detail), 1916, oil on canvas, 110.5 × 141 cm, Private collection Austrian artist Egon Schiele was a major figurative painter of the early 20th century, and he is best known for his erotic and frank representations of the human form. Alongside his startlingly revealing portraits and nude studies, however, Schiele was also a prolific chronicler of the natural and urban environment. Being the son of a stationmaster, Egon Schiele was entitled to free train travel within the Habsburg Empire, and he took advantage of this privilege especially in order to make repeated visits to Krumau (today’s Český Krumlov), the hometown of his mother. In 1911, he actually decided to relocate there—where he then proceeded to create a series of cityscapes as well as numerous nude portraits, for which he selected ever-younger models. When the latter of these two pursuits became known, the locals took great offense—whereupon Schiele, together with Wally Neuzil, with whom he was “living in sin”, moved to the Lower Austrian town of Neulengbach, where similar activities would soon result in his being taken into investigative custody. Painted in 1916, Krumauer Landschaft (Stadt und Fluss) or Landscape at Krumau, is a vibrant depiction of this small town of Krumau on the banks of the Moldau river. The painting was seized by the Nazis from the home of Wilhelm and Daisy Hellmann in Vienna in 1938. They had bought it directly from Schiele, who was a personal friend. The work was put up for sale in Vienna in 1942 and bought by Wolfgang Gurlitt who sold it to the Neue Galerie in Linz in January, 1953, where it had been on public display until its restitution in 2003 to Mr and Mrs Hellmann, the heirs of the original collectors. In the same year it was sold at an auction in London for £12 millions.