Sotheby’s is touring an Egon Schiele painting of a fishing boat through Asia at the moment before they bring it back to sell in London on February 26th in the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale. It will be offered with an estimate of £6 – 8 million. The sale follows Schiele’s centenary year and a series of celebratory exhibitions all across Europe. These have coincided with some strong recent prices for Schiele, especially at Sotheby’s which sold his 1913 cityscape for $24.6 million in NY in November – the second highest price for the artist. That interest was echoed in the wider interest in German and Austrian art in the same sale (which saw records for Oskar Kokoschka and Ludwig Meidner, and an exceptional price for an oil by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.)
A square-format depiction of a fishing boat in Trieste painted in the pivotal year of 1912, it has never before been at auction, having remained in a private collection since 1962. Its first owner was the patron Heinrich Böhler, Schiele’s pupil who supplied the artist with paint, canvas and models. Böhler worked side by side with his teacher. He also became a dedicated collector of his work.
The painting is notable for its composition, sitting alongside Schiele’s townscapes with its flattened, closely-cropped perspective and bold colour. The painting holds a unique position in Schiele’s oeuvre. Schiele was imprisoned earlier that year. Outcast and shaken, he returned to Trieste where he could relive memories of earlier visits shared with his sister Gerti in 1907 and 1908. Here’s Sotheby’s release on the art work:Continue Reading