Artists and Prophets

Strange Flowers

Trade Fair Palace Oh Schiele

A young man, seen in profile, is leaning back in a cane chair with a robe cast over its side. He has thick wavy hair and holds a palette in one hand, in the other a long, thin clay pipe set at the same angle as his outstretched right leg, his foot an impatient blur. The man is regarding a half-length portrait set upon an easel, turned to face the viewer; the subject is an evidently important personage of advanced years, white-whiskered and copiously bemedalled.

This sepia photo, dated 1874, is the earliest image in the outstanding exhibition Artists and Prophets. Having originated in Frankfurt, it is currently showing in Prague’s Trade Fair Palace, which is neither fair nor a palace, and has seen no trading since the modern block was repurposed as an offshoot of the National Gallery (it has a great café though). The young man…

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