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    Egon Schiele's Häuser mit bunter Wäsche, “Vorstadt” II is one of the most important oils by the Austrian artist ever to come to the market. (click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: SOLD FOR £24,681,250,

    This 1914 cityscape, one of the most important oils by Egon Schiele ever to come to the market, will be a highlight of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art sale in London on June 22.  Häuser mit bunter Wäsche, “Vorstadt” II – translated as Houses with colourful Laundry “Suburb” II – ranks among just a small number of significant cityscapes by Schiele remaining in private hands.  It was acquired in the year it was painted by Schiele’s friend and patron Heinrich Böhler. It has been in the collection of the Leopold Museum in Vienna since 1952.
    The Museum’s managing director Peter Weinhäupl said:  “The Leopold Museum today is committed to affirming its position as the pre-eminent repository of Austrian Modern Art and the decision it has taken with this sale is a testament to this commitment. While this painting will be missed, the museum is fortunate to hold eight further Schiele cityscapes of superb quality in its collection.”
    Schiele, who died in the great flu of 1918 aged 28, loosely based this painting on Krumau, the town in Southern Bohemia where his mother was born.  He and his lover Walburga (Wally) Neuzil moved there in 1911, in order to escape what they perceived as the claustrophobic atmosphere of Vienna (ironically, they were soon driven out of the town by the residents, who strongly disapproved of their liberal lifestyle, and returned to the environs of Vienna a year later).
    Häuser mit bunter Wäsche, “Vorstadt” II  comes to the auction market for the first time with an estimate of £22-30 million.
    UPDATE:  IT MADE £24,681,250, a world record for the artist.

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