Thursday, May 23, 2024


I wish I knew the story behind this one.  It's a portrait of an unknown Russion prisoner of war from 1916.  Did the Austrian Army commission it, or did Kolig manage it on his own somehow?



  1. Likely painted on his own, no doubt sensitive to the Russian POW’s plight. Many artist have the gift of both sensitivity and empathy.
    My Hungarian grandmother had an uncle who worked in the Italian film industry in Turin. When Italy entered Ww1 he had to register as an enemy alien as he was from Austria-Hungary and was imprisoned. Eventually he and other prisoners were sent off to build trenches for the Italian army at the Isonzo front where many of the prisoners were killed. He survived but suffered shell-shock from which he somewhat recovered. He died in Budapest 1948….:(

  2. Egon Schiele also painted portraits of Russian war prisoners. Kolig and Schiele were Vienna contemporaries and certainly knew each other.

    1. I enjoy Schiele's work and kiew he was a contemporary of Kolig, so I'm not surprised that they knew each other.