"The painter is not quite the artist - it is the spirit that created art"

Schiele, Egon, Austrian artist (1890-1918). Zeichnungen - Egon Schiele: 12 Blätter in Originalgrösse.

Vienna, Richard Lanyi (printed by Max Jaffé under the supervision of the artist), 1917.

Folio. 12 collotypes plus title-page (inscribed and signed), table of contents with edition notice (signed), and introduction. Loose as issued within printed half-cloth portfolio. (With): 7 letters from Lányi to Schiele, February-August 1917. 13½ pp.


The only set of reproductions of Schiele drawings issued during the artist's lifetime and under his supervision: an unnumbered proof copy inscribed by the 26-year-old Schiele to his 24-year-old wife Edith (née Harms) and signed with his monogram. The inscription reads: "Der Maler ist noch nicht der Künstler, - / Es ist der Geist der Kunst geschaffen hat. / zum 30. Mai 1917 / meiner lieben Frau" ("The painter is not quite the artist - it is the spirit that created art. For my dear wife on 30 May 1917"). Poignantly, Edith would succumb to the Spanish flu just over a year later, six months pregnant, followed three days later by Schiele himself.

The portfolio is accompanied by seven letters by the publisher Richard Lányi (1884-1942) to Schiele. In them Lányi urges Schiele to design the title-page himself and encloses a two-page diagram suggesting the layout. He recommends that two identical portfolios should be brought out, one for Schiele's drawings and a second for paintings (the latter was not realised, probably due to Schiele's untimely death). On 26 May 1917 he sends Schiele the "430 (or 435)" title-pages with instructions on numbering them: "Bitte No. 1-400 zu numerieren, den Rest bitte statt der Nummer mit 'Probedruck' zu bezeichnen". Schiele appears to have completed this task on May 30th, when he inscribed the present supernumerary proof copy to his wife.

The introduction page was later signed and inscribed by the writer and critic Leopold Liegler (1882-1949), a friend of Lányi and Karl Kraus, identifying himself as the author of this text: "Diese Einleitung wurde von mir auf Wunsch des Verlegers verfasst" (Vienna, 17 November 1942).


1) Edith Harms, the artist's wife (1893-1918), Vienna; inscribed and gifted to her by the artist upon publication. 2) Leopold Liegler (1882-1949), Vienna. 3) Sotheby's, 26 May 1983, lot 194.


Folio (340 x 510 mm). Complete set of 12 collotype reproductions, numbered in Roman numerals on verso, plus title-page, table of contents with edition notice, and introduction (inscribed and signed by Leopold Liegler), all on smooth wove paper. Title-page signed and dated with the artist's monogram and inscribed in black ink, edition notice also signed and dated and marked as "Probe-Nummer" (proof copy) aside from the edition of four hundred. Loose, as issued, within original half-cloth paper-covered boards with title, artist's name and reproduction portrait printed in black on front of portfolio. In original card slipcase. (Includes): A series of seven autograph letters signed from the publisher Richard Lányi to the artist concerning the production of the portfolio. Vienna, 12 February through 4 August 1917, enclosing an autograph draft design for the portfolio. A total of 13½ pages.


Light foxing throughout, as common. Covers very insignificantly rubbed, but exceptionally well preserved within the original slipcase. Lacks the cloth ties. Letters in perfect condition.


Bolliger, Dokumentations-Bibliothek IV, 489.