Trivium Art HistoryThe Artists

Egon SchieleGenius dead at 28

Egon Schiele was an Austrian Artist who Died Young born on June 12, 1890. Schiele contributed to the Expressionist movement and died on October 31, 1918.

The Viennese Expressionist Egon Schiele had two urgent interests: himself and his sexual fantasies. Out of such limited preoccupations and by means of a preternatural gift for drawing and graphic design, he created artworks that still burn with narcissistic yearning, erotic desire, bohemian dissent and existential anxiety.

The brevity of Schiele's life adds to the popular fantasy of the outlaw who lived fast and died young. His career lasted only about eight years, from around 1910, when at age 20 he suddenly found his own vision, until his sudden death by flu in the pandemic of 1918. He was not neglected during that time, however. As a student, one of his mentors was Gustav Klimt, the dean of Viennese Modernism, and as a young professional he was included in important group shows in Vienna and elsewhere in Europe. His drawings sold well to discerning collectors, and a solo show at the Vienna Secession just months before he died was a critical and financial success. Moreover, he was a dandy with a taste for well-made American shoes and a keen awareness of the cut of his silhouette, as photographs of him in the exhibition prove. So the myth of Schiele as a sacrificial outcast who died to rid the world of its moral hypocrisy does not tell the whole story.

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Woman with Homunculus

1910

A Tree in Late Autumn

1911

Self-Portrait with Physalis

1912

Portrait of Wally Neuzil

1912

Cardinal and Nun (Caress)

1912

Self Portrait with Lowered Head

1912

Wally in Red Blouse with Raised Knees

1913

Krumau on the Moldova

1914

Houses with Laundry (Seeburg)

1914

Windows

1914

Lovers

1914

Portrait of Edith Schiele with Striped Dress

1915

Portrait of Edith, The Artist's Wife

1915

Lying Woman

1917

The Embrace

1917

. . . this feeling of being at someone else's mercy weighs on me tremendously, and when such circumstances are prolonged I cannot find delight in art. . .

The Military is Antithetical to Art

1918

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