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Artists Egon Schiele
Egon Schiele Photo

Egon Schiele

Austrian Draftsman, Painter, and Printmaker

Movement: Expressionism

Born: June 12, 1890 - Tuln an de Donau, near Vienna, Austria

Died: October 31, 1918 - Vienna, Austria

Egon Schiele Timeline

Quotes

"Even erotic art has a certain sanctity."
Egon Schiele
"I do not deny that I have made drawings and watercolors of an erotic nature. But they are always works of art. Are there no artists who have done erotic pictures?"
Egon Schiele
"I believe in the immortality of all creatures."
Egon Schiele
"Everything is dead while it lives."
Egon Schiele
"To hamper an artist is a crime, the murder of germinating life!"
Egon Schiele

"Art cannot be modern. Art is primordially eternal."

Egon Schiele Signature

Synopsis

With his signature graphic style, embrace of figural distortion, and bold defiance of conventional norms of beauty, Egon Schiele was one of the leading figures of Austrian Expressionism. His portraits and self-portraits, searing explorations of their sitters' psyches and sexuality, are among the most remarkable of the 20th century. The artist, who was astoundingly prolific during his brief career, is famous not only for his psychologically and erotically charged works, but for his intriguing biography: his licentious lifestyle marked by scandal, notoriety, and a tragically early death of influenza at age twenty-eight, three days after the death of his pregnant wife, and at a time when he was on the verge of the commercial success that had eluded him for much of his career.

Key Ideas

Schiele's portraits and self-portraits helped re-establish the vitality of both genres with their unprecedented level of emotional and sexual directness and use of figural distortion in place of conventional notions of beauty. Frequently depicting himself or those close to him, Schiele's portraits often present their sitters in the nude, posed in revealing, unsettling angles—frequently viewed from above—and devoid of secondary attributes often depicted in the portrait genre. At times, Schiele used traditional motifs, giving the intensely personal images a more general, allegorical statement on the human condition.
Creating some three thousand drawings over the course of his brief career, Schiele was both an extraordinarily prolific and unparalleled draughtsman. He regarded drawing as his primary art form, appreciating it for its immediacy of expression, and produced some of the finest examples of drawing in the 20th century. Even his painterly oeuvre revealed a style that captured some of drawing's essential characteristics, with its emphasis on contour, graphic mark, and linearity.
Painter Gustav Klimt was the primary influence on Schiele's development, serving as Schiele's friend and mentor. While Schiele inherited Klimt's focus on erotic images of the female form (and shared Klimt's insatiable sexual appetite), the emotionally intense, often unsettling Expressionist idiom Schiele eventually developed, with its investigation of his sitters' inner life and emotional states, in some ways directly opposed his mentor's Art Nouveau–inspired style, with Klimt preferring a more brilliant palette and glimmering, patterned surfaces.

Biography

Egon Schiele Photo

Childhood

Egon Schiele was born into modest means in Tulln an der Donau ("on the Danube"), a small but vibrant Austrian town also known as Blumenstadt, or "city of flowers." He was the third child born to Adolf Schiele, who worked as a stationmaster for the Austrian State Railways, and Marie Soukupova, who originally hailed from the Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov (Krumau), now the site of the Egon Schiele Art Centrum, a museum dedicated primarily to the artist's work. Schiele had two older sisters, Melanie and Elvira, the latter of whom often modeled for Schiele and eventually married Schiele's close friend, the painter Anton Peschka. Schiele also had a younger sister, Gerti (Gertrude), with whom he was very close, with some accounts calling the relationship incenstuous.

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Egon Schiele Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Egon Schiele
Interactive chart with Egon Schiele's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Gustav KlimtGustav Klimt
Vincent van GoghVincent van Gogh
Jan TooropJan Toorop
Edvard MunchEdvard Munch
Wassily KandinskyWassily Kandinsky

Personal Contacts

Gustav KlimtGustav Klimt
Oskar KokoschkaOskar Kokoschka

Movements

Post-ImpressionismPost-Impressionism
Art NouveauArt Nouveau
SymbolismSymbolism
ExpressionismExpressionism

Influences on Artist
Egon Schiele
Egon Schiele
Years Worked: 1907 - 1918
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Gunter BrusGunter Brus
Otto MuehlOtto Muehl
Francis BaconFrancis Bacon
Julian SchnabelJulian Schnabel

Personal Contacts

Oskar KokoschkaOskar Kokoschka

Movements

ExpressionismExpressionism
Neo-ExpressionismNeo-Expressionism

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Content compiled and written by Justin Wolf

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Justin Wolf
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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