The Austrian drawer and painter Egon Schiele is known for his portraits that depict often nude, tortured beings in unlikely, twisted positions. Close to Gustav Klimt, he was part of the Austrian expressionist movement that saw the light of day at the beginning of the 20th century. Through his lively and sometimes violent paint strokes transpire a shaken personal history… Here are 7 things that you probably didn’t know about the artist Egon Schiele !
At 17, Egon Schiele met Gustav Klimt who was 45. Their difference in age did not keep them from becoming very good friends and developing a mutual admiration for each other.
Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele
Accused at multiple times of abusing of the teenage girls he employed as models, in April 1912, he was arrested for having seduced an underage girl.
Girl with black hair, 1910
Following this accusation, when the police officers came to his workshop, they seized over a hundred “pornographic” drawings. Schiele was then found guilty for having exhibited such drawings in a workshop where children were often present. He was convicted to a 25-day sentence.
A drawing from the series he accomplished while in prison
For the official exhibition of Vienna of 1918, he created a poster that looked a lot like the scene of The Last Supper and where he was… Jesus Christ.
Egon Schiele loved women. He once wrote down how many of them had come through his studio in an 8-month period and counted 180!
Reclining woman with green stockings, 1917
After a long relationship with a former prostitute and his favourite model, he decided to marry a young woman from a good family, Edith Harms. During the first months of their marriage, he stayed faithful and only asked Edith to model for him. However, the more his wife strayed away from his physical ideal of the fragile and frail woman, the more he turned to her sister… with whom he eventually had an affair.
Egon Schiele and his wife, Edith Harms
Schiele died at the young age of 28, from an epidemic of Spanish Flu. His death came three days after his wife, pregnant with their first child, had passed away from the same illness.