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Agony - Egon Schiele. 70x80cm
An agonizing patient, a monk priest leaned over him - that’s the whole simple plot of the picture of the great expressionist. The author seemed to anticipate his own fate, perhaps depicted one of his worst dreams.
In the eyes of the patient, horror and a desperate attempt to seize on the life rapidly leaving his body. The priest is a contrast: his stern and calm face is called to inspire hope, confidence in the continued existence, to reduce the fear of a great mystery.
The viewer, first of all, pays attention to the hands of the heroes of the picture, as if they are trying to take a prayer position, overcoming an invisible obstacle. The patient's empty eye sockets give no hope, the tragedy is near. Masters are interested in the severity of dying convulsions, a surge of activity before the onset of complete rest and immobility.
The color of the work, where red-brown tones predominate, conveys an atmosphere of saturation with energy. The mood of the work is complicated. A mixture of contemplative detachment and active sympathy, indifference and pity, good and evil - so characteristic of many works of the master, is revealed in full force here.
For many connoisseurs of Schiele's painting, a certain provocative meaning is seen in this picture. If you look closely, you get the impression that a monk is squeezing life out of an unfortunate one. And some consider the expression on the face of the clergyman somewhat infernal.
The canvas is as if woven from their individual shreds, like a cheap blanket in a shelter for the homeless. In this poetry of social day, the author draws his inspiration and new ideas. The painting was created at a time when the artist begins to win the favor of criticism and recognition of the elite public. At the same time, the master is experiencing several crises of a personal order at once, his life also cannot be called calm.
The experience and aesthetic search of one's own path gave birth to this picture, prophetic and tragic.