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Egon Schiele

1918 Austria

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Egon Schiele (June 1890 – 31 October 1918) was an Austrian painter. A protégé of Gustav Klimt, Schiele was a major figurative painter of the early 20th century. His work is noted for its intensity and its raw sexuality, and the many self-portraits the artist produced, including naked self-portraits. The twisted body shapes and the expressive line that characterize Schiele's paintings and drawings mark the artist as an early exponent of Expressionism. When Egon Schiele was 15 years old, his father died from syphilis, and he became a ward of his maternal uncle, Leopold Czihaczec, who became distressed by Schiele's lack of interest in academic studies, yet recognized his passion and talent for art. In 1906 Schiele applied at Kunstgewerbeschule (the School of Arts and Crafts) in Vienna, where Gustav Klimt had once studied. Within his first year there, Schiele was sent, at the insistence of several faculty members, to the more traditional Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna in 1906. There, he studied painting and drawing, but was frustrated by the school’s conservatism. Records show that Adolf Hitler was rejected by the Akademie in 1907; this has led to a misconception that Schiele and Hitler knew each other in Vienna. Egon Scheile is known for being grotesque, erotic, pornographic, and disturbing, focusing on sex, death, and discovery. He focused on portraits of others as well as himself. In his later years, while he still worked often with nudes, they were done in a more realist fashion. He also painted tributes to Van Gogh's Sunflowers as well as landscapes and still lifes.

Schiele participated in numerous group exhibitions, including those of the Neukunstgruppe in Prague in 1910 and Budapest in 1912; the Sonderbund, Cologne, in 1912; and several Secessionist shows in Munich, beginning in 1911. In 1913, the Galerie Hans Goltz, Munich, mounted Schiele's first solo show. A solo exhibition of his work took place in Paris in 1914.

Works by Egon Schiele

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