A Woman Without Appealing, A Young Person of Ontological Dignity – Without Dream Of Success

Schiele-Sitting Woman in a Green Blouse, 1913
Egon Schiele “Sitting Woman in a Green Blouse” (1913) [Alternative title can be “Sitting Woman With Absent Cigarette”]

She looks at me as if without noticing me (but without making a point about it – without any assertion of her independence). She just doesn’t cathect me, and this is a sign of her real independence – from other people, from men, from the elders, from pressing circumstances.

She looks at me – she recognizes my presence but without projecting at me her needs – without her reaction – confirming, assessing, disapproving or self-asserting. Why should she dignify my presence with any particularity of attention? She is really free – without any exclamation mark. She is free not only socially but psychologically – not only from me as another human being, as a person with some authority, but from me as a man, as a person toward whom she – doesn’t have a “spontaneous” (sexualized -defensive) feminine reaction. Indeed, why should she react in any way if she is not “enslaved” by her sexual role and identity and her social status? She is free from anyreflexes of her femininity and her attractiveness, from any social appeal.

How comfortably and simply she is sitting. It is her ontological comfort which made it unnecessary for Schiele to paint for her a sofa or a chair. She is sitting in her being. Her physical ego is rooted and balanced by her very existence, as her social ego – by her straightness and psychological distance free from the gesture of distancing.

The absence of a cigarette (in her left hand) is a hint of her freedom from things, rituals, vanity, symbiotic attachment to consumption and the need to settle in the material world. This girl has a taste for the absence revealing the presence in her of the metaphysical ego. For her the gesture of keeping a cigarette is enough (it doesn’t look that by this gesture she is asking for a cigarette). Rather, she is, as if, saying “I can handle you as a cigarette if I had an interest in you”.

The girl is dressed in dense green and dark brown – she is completely natural, and the color of her pubic is a hybrid between her hair and collar of her blouse. She is sitting on her bush like a flower – on its leaves. Her eyes are blend of sunnyness and sunlight, and her body is metaphysically white. Her pubic hair, as if, growing through her panties – in her there is no vanity of shyness, no games. But her presence is somehow emotionally very close to us through extraordinary painterly sensitivity of Egon Schiele