Showcase: Egon Schiele

“Art cannot be modern. Art is primordially eternal.”

Egon Schiele

• 12th of June 1890 – 31st of October 1918

• influences : Art Nouveau

Egon Schiele was born in 1890 in Tulln, Lower Austria. During his early life, he would spend many hours drawing trains, but over the years his fascination switched to human beings, depicting us in his own simple but yet intense style of painting and drawing.

He was a pioneer of expressionism. At that time, the new en vogue trend was described as “the exhibition is intended to offer a general view of the newest movement in painting, which has succeeded atmospheric naturalism and the impressionist rendering of motion, and which strives to offer a simplification and intensification in the mode of expression, after new rhythms and new uses of color and a decorative or monumental configuration – a general view of that movement which has been described as expressionism.” – Expressionism described in typically polemic terms in the preface for the 1912 exhibition in Cologne.

Schiele did a remarkably good job at materializing those words above in œuvre d’art, although his methods were a bit unorthodox, like luring underage girls to model for him.

Figurative works.

Top Left – Walburga Neuzil in black stockings (1913) a.k.a Wally, who previously modeled for Gustav Klimt, Schiele’s friend and mentor.

Top Right – Green Stockings (1914)

Bottom Left – Blonde girl in green stockings (1914)

Bottom Right – Nude (1917)

Ars longa, vita brevis” – “Art is long, life is short”

I do not think Schiele lived by this quote, but for sure one can describe his life short but prolific. Unfortunately he passed away from Spanish Flu at the young age of 28. Among him and 3-5% of the world’s population, was also his wife Edith, that was pregnant with his unborn child.

His legacy consists in over 330 paintings and 2,500 drawings that influenced artists like: Francis Bacon, Julian Schnabel, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Egon Schiele is not famous only for his artwork, but also for his tumultuous life. Some examples that shook the very conservative times that he lived in were:

  1. He is rumored to have had an incestuous relationship with his younger sister Gertrude (Gerti).
  2. He was arrested in 1912 for seducing a minor.
  3. He probably had an affair with his wife’s sister.

During his short presence in this world he left one of the most erotic artworks that mankind ever saw.

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