I have said before that exploring the concept of the erotic child in art is not necessarily pornographic, and the work of German Expressionist painter Egon Schiele is a good example of what I mean. Though he generally focused on adult women in erotic poses, he did sometimes paint young girls as well. Even at the time his work was controversial, and pieces like the following have only solidified the controversy.
I must confess that I do not generally like Schiele’s work. With their sharp angles, garish colors and attention to unpleasant details, his portraits frequently border on the grotesque. But Mädchen mit Federboa, despite its shocking content, is actually somewhat artistically restrained for Schiele. The colors are still bright, but other than the borderline clownish crimson smears at her cheeks, they don’t feel out of place or overdone. And the little girl is properly proportioned and not overly angular nor posed obscenely. Some have called this a masterpiece. That might be pushing it, but I do think it’s one of Schiele’s better pieces.
This painting, which was estimated to sell for somewhere between $660,000 and $880,000, went up for auction at the Ketterer Kunst in Munich, Germany in 2015. If anyone can track down how much it actually sold for, I would be appreciative.
Edit: A reader has generously responded with an answer to my query. (Thank you, Patricia!) The final sale price appears to have been around €625,000, which is approximately $770,000. So right smack in the middle of the estimate range. Nice! – Pip