Austrian expressionist artist Egon Schiele b.1890 Tuln Austria was the first artist I researched when I was at University. Doing lots of Life drawing and looking round to see which sort of art influenced me his work soon caught my eye. Like many art students I bought the series of Taschen art books that were and still are available. I still have these books, they are excellent resources – and I have nearly all of them! The books are so informative, the illustrations so clear and colourful, and very reasonably priced.
I have meant to write about this artist for quite a while. One of his paintings, stolen by the Nazis and in the centre of a 12 year dispute was reported in this article today. It makes interesting reading.
As a child Schiele was not academically inclined but his uncle, who became his guardian recognised his talent for art and sent him to the Vienna Academy of Fine arts when he was 16. He became a good friend of Gustave Klimt whose work influenced and inspired him. Schiele explored sexuality through the human form, using expressionistic body shapes in twisting and contorted positions.
When Shciele moved to Neulengbach he was arrested and jailed briefly for seducing an underage girl. The artist seems to have courted controversy throughout his life style through his art his lifestyle and his choice of young models. He did serve in World War 1 and was well respected as an artist, though he never saw any fighting. He continued his career after the war and exhibited 50 works for the 49th Secession exhibition in Vienna 1917. He died of the Spanish epidemic in 1918, he was only 28 years old. I often wonder what sort of art he would have produced if he had lived longer. He was a prolific worker and has left us a legacy of his fine work.
All images from the Egon Shiele excellent website Here
Mini biography of this artist here
12 thoughts on “Art I LOVE -Egon Schiele”
Schiele has been a favorite of mine for a long time. My friends and family don’t understand what I see in his work. I think if I were to describe it, I’d have to say it is the honesty and the line. He did not live long enough because I would have liked to see where he went with his art, year after year, into old age.
Definitely the honesty! I do feel sorry for poor ‘Wally’ though, he never married her and she got killed in the War. She was a marvellous model though. Schiele’s work is so striking and confident, I think he could have been a an old (modern day) master:)
I agree, Leslie, his line-work is very interesting. But I think I find the expessions on the faces more engaging. It’s as if he’s presenting people not as models or subjects but as individuals ‘caught’ in self reflection modes.
That’s part of the honesty, I think and the contortions of the body that support that expression on the face? Oh my, pure honesty revealed.
He was quite prolific in his work too – theres a real vigour and expression in everything he did. Even his lines are expressive:)
very self reflective indeed, some of them especially the men look a bit startled…. like the artist has encountered them by accident 🙂
I can’t think of Schiele without thinking of Klimt. To me, he didn’t fall too far away from the tree. True his line is expressive and psychologically edgy. I feel he represents well the decadence that was old Vienna during the decline of the Hapsburgs. I feel this looking at his self-portraits and erotica.
The decadence of old Vienna sounds about right 🙂 what an exciting time it must have been eh! I think one of the differences between Klimt and Shiele is that Shiele’s art is erotic and Klimt is more sensual and decorative. Like them both but find Shiele’s more interesting.
Love your taste in expressionist art, Lynda. You always select works for your posts that are striking emotionally and often intense. Interesting background info on Schiele too, through post and comments. A shame he died so young.
Thanks Adam! I do like expressionism, the way a line stroke or colour can provoke emotionally. There seems to be more artists who died young than lived into old age, though Picasso had a good innings. Poverty and lifestyle must contribute to it though. I’m thinking of Van Gogh, Modigliani and their tragically short lives.
I suppose we all wish we could be twentysomethings forever, and thanks to the brief career of Egon Schiele we can be. His work and his youth seem very closely tied, in a good way.
You’re right criticismism! His art does have a youthful aura when you think about it. The technique of a master with a youths observation:) – good comment!