It's been a while since I last wrote about an artist but I'm back and today I want to talk about Egon Schiele. Lately, I've been obsessed with his drawing style lately so I want to tell you all about him so you can love and appreciate his artworks as much as I do. 

Egon Leo Adolf Schiele better known as Egon Schiele was an Austrian expressionist painter, who from a young age experienced loss as his mom gave birth to a dead son, and some years later his sister Elvira died at the age of ten years old. Some people say this had an impact on him and it is reflected in his art. In 1905 his father died from syphilis and his uncle Leopold Czihaczek became his guardian, so as his guardian, Leopold was trying to convince Egon to work on the railroad business but he wanted to study art, in the end, his uncle accepted Egon's desire. In 1906 Egon enrolled in Vienna's Academy of Fine Arts, which Gustav Klimt also attended, soon after Egon befriended Klimt and he became his mentor. Is Egon the luckiest or what?! This relationship clearly had an impact on Egon's art as well as on Klimt's art. Thanks to Klimt, Egon was introduced to the works of other artists such as Vicent Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Jan Toorop to name a few, ( as an artist it is always a good idea to check what other artists are up to) also Klimt introduced Egon to the Vienna Secession, this movement main purpose was to question traditional understanding of art, what is considered art and what's not. This group of artists (painters, architects, sculptors, designers) introduced new concepts into the art world, embracing different influences ultimately creating a path for Modernism. "There is no question this relationship has been one of the most profitable relations regarding the history of painting, as both artists influenced each other. Egon was influenced by Klimt's use of line and ornamentals, while Klimt was influenced by the eroticism in which Egon drew the human body." - Francisco Soriano

In 1909 Egon and a few other classmates dropped out of the Academy in protest of the school conservative teachings, as they felt it a limitation in the expression of their work. Furthermore, Egon founded Neuekunstgruppe (New Art Group) along with other artists that didn't agree with the Academy's teaching. Soon after they started having public exhibitions throughout Vienna. During this time Egon was exploring new modes of favoring distortions, exaggerating anatomical articulations, mainly working with a somber palette. Overall, he created around 340 paintings and more than 2,800 drawings some of the drawings were made with charcoal others were made with watercolors. 

 Egon began enjoying modest success as private collectors were interested in his artworks, even though Vienna's society was scandalized by his erotic, sexualized artworks. In 1912 it was a memorable year not only did Egon was invited to exhibit alongside Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, and Alexej Von Jawlensky. But also He even went to jail and stayed for 24 days as he was accused of kidnapping and raping a twelve-year-old girl, eventually the charges were dropped. Furthermore, the police confiscated many of his works and the judge burnt one of his drawings (a nude girl), saying it was pornography. After the incident, Egon stopped using children as models, but he continued his line of work, which was painting in an erotic manner the human body. 

 In 1915 he got engaged to Edith Harms, even though he was still seeing Wally Neuzil, his lover, and muse. Egon handed Wally a letter proposing to spend every summer together but she said no and broke things with him as she knew he was getting married. He then drew "Death and Maiden", this artwork is very personal as he shows vulnerability, he drew himself hugging Wally, if we look at his face you can clearly see despair, fear, even astonishment. Also, this year he drew "Embrace" and "Lovemaking" drawings in which he represented himself alongside Wally. 

Four days after getting married, Egon enlisted and went to war, (at this point First World War was happening) but he was never in real combat, he was allowed to keep practicing art wherever he was stationed. In 1917, Egon and Schiele decided to found the city's Kunsthalle (Art Hall), as they wanted other Austrian artists to remain in Vienna and have a space to keep practicing art. In February of the following year, Klimt died of a stroke and pneumonia. A month later the Vienna Secession held its forty-nine annual exhibition, the main exhibition was devoted to Schiele's work. In October, his wife, Edith who was six months pregnant got the Spanish flu and died. (It was an epidemic sweeping across Europe) Just three days later Egon died at the age of twenty-eight.  

Egon Schiele died at a very young age but his artworks have captivated and will keep captivating and inspiring new artists. As he has a unique way of expressing his lifelong fascinations: death and erotism. The way he drew elongated figures, immediately captures your attention, the expressive faces, the somber palette he uses, no doubt they are masterpieces. Egon is the male artist with most nude self-portraits which makes it very powerful, to see the artist exposing himself in this way. 

Hope you enjoyed this, leave a comment below I would love to know what you think. 


Video - Egon Schiele in 60 seconds

Movie - Egon Schiele Death And The Maiden (trailer)

Egon Schiele "Erotismo Sagrado"

All about the Vienna Secession

All about the painting "Death And The Maiden"

All about Edith
Egon Schiele Tulln Museum

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