Coquelicot Art of the First World War
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Egon Schiele, Russischer Kriegsgefangener (Russian Officer), 1915, pencil and gouache on paper, 44.9 x 31.4 cm, Albertina, Vienna.

© Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Wien.


67 - Egon Schiele

Having to guard Russian soldiers captured by the Austro-Hungarians during the early months of the war, Schiele was such an exception. Rather than watching over his captives, Schiele made them pose for him. And rather than looking for the enemy in them, what he found was isolated, sometimes sick, often melancholy individuals. The Russian officer has kept his characteristic fur hat, but in him Schiele recognises not a stranger, even less an enemy, but another man, a fellow human.