7 things you did not know about Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele
Egon Schiele, Landscapes

The Austrian artist 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 !

#1

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.

Egon Shiele and Gustav Klimt, 1908
Egon Shiele and Gustav Klimt, 1908

#2

Accused multiple times of abusing of the teenage girls he employed as models, in April 1912, he was arrested for having seduced an underage girl.

Egon Schiele Girl with black hair, 1910
Girl with black hair, 1910

#3

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.

Egon Schiele ‘Prisoner!’, pencil and watercolor, 1912
‘Prisoner!’, pencil and watercolor, 1912

#4

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.

Vienne secession, 49th Exhibition die freunde, 1918
Vienne secession, 49th Exhibition die freunde, 1918

#5

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!

Egon Schiele
Reclining Woman With Green Stockings, 1917.

#6

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
Egon Schiele and his wife, Edith Harms

#7

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.

Egon Schiele
Egon Schiele, Vienna, 1915

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