Egon Schiele, The Hermits, 1912, oil on canvas, 71-1/4 x 71-1/4″ (Leopold Museum, Vienna)
- The use of gold and fractured appearance of the background recall religious art of the medieval period, uniting the spiritual concerns of the past with the psychic interests of the modern age.
- Schiele’s visible use of paint creates an agitated feeling, reflecting Expressionism’s interest in our inner states of anxiety and tension.
- The figure on the right could reference the older Austrian artist Gustave Klimt. Since he has no eyes, he may also symbolize a prophet who possesses inner vision.
- Schiele described The Hermits as a poetic summary of his own experience, perhaps implying that the artist serves as a prophet in the modern age.
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