The Family, 1918 by Egon Schiele

The Family, although unfinished at the time of Schiele's death, initially entitled Squatting Couple, and shown under that title in the March Secession of 1918, is a remarkably balanced and unified composition and as such is typical of Schiele's later style.

The addition of the child, a sentimentally painted portrait of Schiele's nephew Toni, unifies the family group, of mother surrounded by father and son staring off into space with only Schiele confronting the viewer with a doleful smile. Mother and child create a coherent oval format with the squatting father-figure stacked behind, effectively framing the other two figures but in turn helping to stress the fact that all three are given equal visual prominence. There is little or no foreshortening; each figure has its own pictorial space.

The father-figure, with its melancholic 'separateness,' is closer to the darkness behind, but is still essentially integrated in painterly and thematic terms with the other figures. It forms a final self-image of resignation but lacks the angst and agony of former years.