ObeliskThe Artists
, Self Portrait with Lowered Head

Egon Schiele

Portrait of Egon Schiele

Genius dead at 28

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.

Reed Enger, "Egon Schiele, Genius dead at 28," in Obelisk Art History, Published April 05, 2015; last modified May 21, 2018, http://arthistoryproject.com/artists/egon-schiele/.

Further reading atnytimes.com
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Woman with Homunculus, Egon Schiele

Woman with Homunculus

A Tree in Late Autumn, Egon Schiele

A Tree in Late Autumn

Cardinal and Nun (Caress), Egon Schiele

Cardinal and Nun (Caress)

Portrait of Wally Neuzil, Egon Schiele

Portrait of Wally Neuzil

Self Portrait with Lowered Head, Egon Schiele

Self Portrait with Lowered Head

Self-Portrait with Physalis, Egon Schiele

Self-Portrait with Physalis

Wally in Red Blouse with Raised Knees, Egon Schiele

Wally in Red Blouse with Raised Knees

Houses with Laundry (Seeburg), Egon Schiele

Houses with Laundry (Seeburg)

Krumau on the Moldova, Egon Schiele

Krumau on the Moldova

Lovers, Egon Schiele


Windows, Egon Schiele


Portrait of Edith Schiele with Striped Dress, Sitting, Egon Schiele

Portrait of Edith Schiele with Striped Dress, Sitting

Portrait of Edith, The Artist's Wife, Egon Schiele

Portrait of Edith, The Artist's Wife

Lying Woman, Egon Schiele

Lying Woman

The Embrace, Egon Schiele

The Embrace


. . . 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


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