Egon Schiele said “All beautiful and noble qualities have been united in me; I shall be the fruit which will leave eternal vitality behind even after its decay. How great must be your joy, therefore, to have given birth to me.”
Egon Schiele (1890-1918) Austrian Expressionist Painter, a major figurative painter of the early 20th century. He studied in the School of Arts and Crafts in Vienna. In 1907, Schiele sought out Gustav Klimt. Klimt generously mentored younger artists, and he took a particular interest in the gifted young Schiele, buying his drawings, offering to exchange them for some of his own, arranging models for him and introducing him to potential patrons.
He also introduced Schiele to the Wiener Werkstätte, the arts and crafts workshop connected with the Secession. In 1908 Schiele had his first exhibition, in Klosterneuburg. Schiele left the Academy in 1909, after completing his third year, and founded the Neukunstgruppe (“New Art Group”) with other dissatisfied students.
Klimt invited Schiele to exhibit some of his work at the 1909 Vienna Kunstschau, where he encountered the work of Edvard Munch, Jan Toorop, and Vincent van Gogh among others. Once free of the constraints of the Academy’s conventions, Schiele began to explore not only the human form, but also human sexuality. At the time, many found the explicitness of his works disturbing.
Egon Schiele was known for his nude drawings of women, portraying them in awkwardly contracted poses to convey distress. Also his work is noted for its intensity and its raw sexuality, and the many self-portraits the artist produced, including naked self-portraits. He created numerous watercolors and drawings. The Leopold Museum is featuring over 200 exhibits. The museum sold one of these, the most famous Egon Schiele’s artwork “Houses with Colorful Laundry” for $40.1 million at Sotheby’s in 2011. In addition Schiele left a legacy of almost 3,500 artworks which made him very popular.