Egon Schiele, Seated Male Nude (Self-Portrait)

Egon Schiele, Seated Male Nude (Self-Portrait), 1910, oil and gouache on canvas, 152.5 × 150 cm (Leopold Museum, Vienna)

Key points:

  • Schiele’s choice to paint himself in such expressive terms demonstrates his interest in focusing on the self and subjective experience
  • The expressive contortions of the body reflect sculptural traditions of the past, but Schiele’s figure lacks the heroicism of male nudes by artists such as Michelangelo.
  • His depiction of the fragmented and emaciated body in Seated Male Nude, as well the red details and the lack of any surrounding context, suggest a heightened intensity of the figure’s physical and psychological experience.
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Cite this page as: Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris, "Egon Schiele, Seated Male Nude (Self-Portrait)," in Smarthistory, November 28, 2015, accessed May 18, 2024,