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Egon Schiele - The Embrace

by Alexandra Tuschka

From a bird's-eye view, we can secretly observe a closely entwined couple here. While the bodies are clearly separated from each other by clear contours and different skin tones, the composition unites in the upper part. Thus, the lady's hand on the man's back takes up his coloring, in the hair both are hardly distinguishable from each other.

The couple is framed by a white, fold-throwing blanket on which they lie. This is bedded on a yellow background, which here also represents the background. It is possible that Schiele and his wife Edith Harms can be seen here. However, the male body is less emaciated than we know from other self-portraits by Schiele.

Although the woman's somewhat open legs reveal her sex, this image - unlike other works - can hardly be called pornographic. The embrace is shown to be tender throughout and thus stands out explicitly from the works with stronger sexual content.

Egon Schiele - The Embrace

Oil on canvas, 1917, 100 x 170 cm, Belvedere in Vienna


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