Buy Art Prints Now
* As an Amazon Associate, and partner with Google Adsense and Ezoic, I earn from qualifying purchases.
The town of Krumau provided the inspiration for a series of Egon Schiele cityscapes, and House with Shingles was one of the best of them. It is known by some under the alternative title of House with Shingle Roof (Old House II).
Schiele made frequent visits to Krumau, or Cesky Krumlov as it is known today. He produced a combination of portraits and cityscapes whilst here, though the former eventually led him into trouble due to the age and pose of the models involved. This controversy would again see the artist re-locate, though he never really ever truly escaped the judgement of traditional society. House with Shingles included several preparatory pencil drawings before setting about this more lavish painting. His colour schemes were consistent at this time, as shown with the orange tones used here. The expressive element to this painting include how the artist lifts his focal point away from everything else. He would certainly have made several visits in order to complete the study sketches and final painting.
By studying the earlier drawings we can also see how he changed the composition over time. Initially he wanted to include a river running directly across the bottom of the canvas, taking up a good quarter of the canvas but eventually he would leave this out in order to allow him to add extra space in front of the house. Perhaps he felt that the initial idea would compress to much detail into the painting and eventually House with Shingles would include a row of trees at the bottom, with some open space then leading up to the house. His sketches were very loose and quick, avoiding any great detail and just focusing on deciding upon a layout for the final work. The drawings themselves were discovered together within a sketchbooks and are now found in the collection of the Albertina, another Vienna gallery which itself specialises in drawings from the great names of the past.
This painting can be found within the extensive collection of the Leopold Museum in Vienna, Austria. They continue to offer the finest selection of work from this artist, anywhere in the world and is a great day out for those interested in this artist, or in European Expressionist more generally. Portrait of Wally is one of the best known artworks from Schiele to be found there but just as importantly is a large number of letters and texts from his life which have provided an invaluable resource to art historians who have been trying to build up a more comprehensive understanding of his life. There is a particular focus on his time living in the Austrian city of Vienna, but also some interesting passages that reveal more about his relationships with friends and family.