Schiele Egon

Egon Schiele is an artist and painter who, during his short life, developed from a Jugendstil artist into the exponent of Viennese expressionism.

His contribution to the art world was not predestined according to his family's plans for him. Because nearly his entire family worked for the Austrian railways, Egon Schiele was expected to do the same. Instead, this self-willed young man signed up for the Viennese art academy. He admired the Secession (Sezession) and in particular the painter Gustav Klimt whom he had met in 1907 and who took him under his wing as a protege.

In Schiele's early work his liking for Eastern-Asian art can be recognized immediately, and it links up perfectly with the illustrative, ornamental Viennese Jugendstil. Later on he developed a powerful angular style which was entirely his own, and which made him into the exponent of early Viennese expressionism.

Much of his work consists of portraits, including many self portraits where he sometimes distinguished himself from his subject in a most frightening fashion. Its sexual aspect, which is nearly always present, is sometimes explicitly expressed.

Egon Schiele led a short, eventful and, for those days, scandalous life. In 1918 he died of the Spanish flu, 28 years of age, and some months after his young wife Edith fell victim to the same epidemic.
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