Scholars and collectors keen on Egon Schiele will be watching closely how two drawings by the leading Austrian Expressionist fare at art market next week. Reclining Woman (1917; est €700,000-€1.2m) and Head of a Woman (1918; est €200,000-€300,000) go under the hammer at Dorotheum art market house in Vienna on 21 November. Both pieces have been in a private collection for the past 85 years.
“Major watercolours and drawings by Schiele have appeared less frequently on the market in the past decade than was formerly the case—a phenomenon common to all classic Modern artists,” says Jane Kallir, the co-director of Galerie St. Etienne in New York.
The London-based art advisor Nazy Vassegh points out that although Schiele is best known for his erotic pictures and anguished self-portraits. “The works being offered at the Dorotheum auction highlight his excellent use of line and contour, and show how much he adored women; they’re a far cry from his erotic paintings, and are tender. What’s more, they have been in private hands for 85 years, so they present an opportunity for a collector to acquire a fresh work from an astoundingly prolific artist with a brief career,” she says.