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A century later, a rare youthful canvas by Egon Schiele rediscovered in Vienna


In order to finance the restoration and acquisition of the painting Leopold Czihaczek at the piano found in private homes, the Leopold Museum in Vienna will auction some of his works in NFT format.

Disappeared since 1930. Straddling Expressionism and Art Nouveau, a painting by Egon Schiele (1890-1918), Austrian artist known for having made body nudity his current of artistic expression, has just been found in private homes in Vienna.

It stands out for its originality since it was painted when he started when he was only 16, the age at which he became Gustav Klimt's protege.


Leopold Czihaczek at the piano,

this work, little known to the general public and experts, now appears within the walls of the Leopold Museum in Vienna, which intends to restore it to exhibit it for a time.

Among the paintings, watercolors and engravings of the artist that the museum owns, some will be duplicated in NFT format in order to raise money in order to acquire the canvas definitively.

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"The Schiele painting that was thought to be lost has in fact been kept in good condition in a private collection,"

museum director Hans-Peter Wipplinger said in a statement.

"The owners of the work have agreed to make the painting available to the Leopold Museum as a permanent loan"

, he explained, which will enrich the world's largest collection of works by Egon Schiele, which has 42 paintings and 184 watercolors.

“Following the cleaning and restoration of the painting, we want to make it accessible to the public as part of our permanent presentation on the city of Vienna in the 20th century”

, he concluded about the oil on canvas, which is among the 300 paintings and 3000 works on paper made by the painter before his death, at only 28 years old, from the Spanish flu.

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Leopold Czihaczek, uncle and guardian of Egon Schiele

This youthful canvas depicts Leopold Czihaczek, who became his uncle and legal guardian since the untimely death of his parents, playing the piano in his apartment located in the Leopoldstadt district of Vienna.

The painting marks the beginning of a series of paintings representing his uncle, married to one of his father's sisters, all produced between 1907 and 1908. It was during this same year that Egon Schiele called on Gustav Klimt, who then supervised, at that time, young artists in the making.

The master of the Art Nouveau current took him under his wing by arranging models for him and presenting him to great patrons.

Thus, at the beginning of his work, even when he was still a minor, strong resemblances with Klimt's paintings are observed.

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“In terms of style, the artist's brush reveals impressionist tendencies and shows the hushed palette characteristic of his early works,”

Verena Gamper, director of the Research Center of the Leopold Museum in Vienna, explains in a press release.

"In terms of composition, Schiele proposed a differentiation of the sections, sometimes lit or shaded, which allowed him to negotiate the exceptionally large horizontal format despite the chosen perspective"

, she continued before describing an effect of total immersion in the music, thanks to

"the close view of the pianist, the framing of the head shown in profile, the luminous panes and the resulting focus on the sheets of music".

An effect transmitted by the artist by blurring the hands of his uncle,

“as if they were detached from the rest of the body”.

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A canvas sought after for a hundred years

The canvas

Leopold Czihaczek at the piano

was known only from a few preliminary studies and from a first preliminary drawing found, which on its back indicates

"Schiele 17.IV.07"


Later, a black and white postcard, dated 1930, shows a room in which the painting hangs on the wall.

It arrived at the museum with the same original stretcher frame, within which the painting hangs with old nails.

It would have been sent to the wife of Leopold Czihaczek by one of the couple's friends called Gustav Huber.

And the latter, according to the press release from the institution, would have owned the painting until his death in 1945, when the city was subject to numerous bombardments and then rested in a private home.

An astonishing discretion, as the works of Egon Schiele are sought after and sold at considerable prices, like the

Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer

which sold for 140 million dollars in 2006.

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The last trace of the painting dates back to 1930, when it appears, hanging on the wall, on this black and white postcard by Gustav Huber sent to Marie Czihaczek.

Leopold Museum, Vienna

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Put under NFT for restoration and acquisition

After the rediscovery of the web, the institution decided to create an NFT (non-fungible token) of it.

This will be an integral part of the

“Timeless Reflections.

Egon Schiele's Original NFT Collection

, consisting of 23 other works that will be auctioned May 16-26.

The paintings and drawings are distributed according to their


and will be sold accordingly, for sums between 500 and 100,000 euros.

Among these, the famous

Self-Portrait with a Chinese Lantern

by the Austrian artist painted in 1912 as well as the painting

Dead Mother

dated 1910. Some have already been on sale since May 2, such as the painting

Female Nude with Raised Arms

of 1910 and the

Naked, squatting self

-portrait made by the artist in 1916.

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In agreement with the family, this conversion to NFT format will make it possible to restore the canvas thanks to the funds raised and then exhibit it in the collection of Schiele's works at the Leopold Museum in Vienna.

The Austrian institution has also announced that the money collected will eventually allow it to buy back the painting

Leopold Czihaczek at the piano

, to incorporate it definitively into its collection of works by Egon Schiele.

These paintings will also be shown to the public in a digital exhibition at White Space Chelsea during Frieze New York, May 18-22.

Source: lefigaro

All life articles on 2022-05-15

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