5 Facts About Egon Schiele

Leopold Museum

Self-Portrait with Striped Shirt (1910) by Egon SchieleLeopold Museum

Austrian painter Egon Schiele (1890-1918), seen here in this self-portrait, is known for the disturbing intensity, twisted bodies and raw sexuality of his work. 

Kneeling Girl, Resting on Both Elbows (1917) by Egon SchieleLeopold Museum

Much of Schiele’s nude artworks were deemed inappropriate. He was arrested in 1912 and charged with exhibiting pornographic materials. The judge made a point of burning one of his paintings in front of him and he spent 24 days in prison.

Portrait of Wally Neuzil (1912) by Egon SchieleLeopold Museum

His main muse was his lover Wally Neuzil, seen here, who it’s rumoured was also the mistress of Schiele’s mentor Gustav Klimt. Schiele eventually left Wally to marry someone who came from a better background.

One-Year Volunteer Lance-Corporal (1916) by Egon SchieleLeopold Museum

He reported for active service in WW1 three days after his wedding. His military career didn’t prevent him from exhibiting, and he had successful shows in Zürich, Prague, and Dresden. He even began using Russian prisoners of war as subjects.

Self-Seer II (Death and Man) (1911) by Egon SchieleLeopold Museum

He died at the age of 28 in the Spanish flu pandemic. Although active for such a short time, his work laid the foundations for the Viennese Expressionist movement as well as inspiring other future movements, such as Abstract Expressionism.

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