Austria • 1890−1918

Biography and information

Egon Schiele (German Egon schiele; June 12, 1890, Tuln an der Donau - October 31, 1918, Vienna) - Austrian expressionist artist, the most beloved and talented student of Gustav Klimt.

Features of the artist Egon Schiele: Erotic, frank drawings and paintings by Schiele can hardly be called sensual and languid. Broken lines of arms and legs, face masks, withered naked bodies - this is more about suffering and the unsteadiness of life, rather than about love and sensuality. Even in the landscapes of Schiele on deserted, deserted streets and fields - loneliness and ringing silence.

Famous paintings by Egon Schiele: "Lovers", "A family", "Houses with colorful linen", "Young mother", "Portrait of Valley", "Self-portrait with lantern flowers"otherself-portrait of Egon Schiele.

If Egon Schiele began to visit a psychotherapist, his medical history could be several times thicker than the history of life and the weighty weight of his criminal case. The famous “Viennese pornographer” did not manage to become wise and rational, he did not get enough time from life to reveal the depths of mature themes and images, having overcome scandalous sexuality, to take up thoroughly landscapes and other “adult” genres. Schiele lived only 28 years and really painted for only 10 years, but became one of the brightest and most daring figures of twentieth-century art. Despite all the diagnoses that an artist could have made his compatriot Sigmund Freud.

Broker Paul GauguinFor example, at the age of 28 he sends his completely academic landscape to the Paris Salon for the first time, and until he has acquired his own style, he still has to live and work for about 10 years. And the failed art dealer and pastor Vincent van Gogh at 28, he will only go to study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, which he will soon drop out of.

Too few joys

And Egon Schiele, in childhood, it became clear that he was an artist. His only model, plein air and inspiration was then the railway with its semaphores, complex mechanical components, smoke and power. Egon and his two sisters were born and raised in the small Austrian town of Tuln, where their father was the head of a large railway station. The city was so small that there was not even a school, and remains so small even now that its main attractions are the mention in the Song of the Nibelungs and the honorary title of the homeland of the Austrian artist Egon Schiele.

In addition to the drawing of young Egon Schiele, there was little interest: he was not friends with anyone, he showed no interest in science and lessons, and in all educational institutions he immediately received the unspoken title of a “difficult” student, and his parents received a pile of angry notes from teachers. He filled up the exams at the Lyceum without regrets, stayed for the second year, and with impenetrable indifference to everything else, he continued to do only one thing - to draw. He loved his father very much, and he was offended by his mother all his life because she wore little mourning for her father and absolutely wrongly loved him, Egon. The madness of the father as a result of infection with syphilis did not weaken his son's love for him, but only made this love obsessive and painful. Already an adult and successful, he continued to return to those places that were dear to his father, traveled along his roads and could not find comfort anywhere.

Too much talent

Egon Schiele's artistic gift was so obvious that it even inspired some horror. He became the youngest student at the Academy of Fine Arts - Schiele was only 16 when Professor Gripenkerl accepted him into his class (the same professor would not accept the 18-year-old Adolf Hitler at the Academy a year later). When, after several years of training, the young artist dragged his drawings in trembling hands Gustav Klimt, the master said only one thing: “They have talent. Even too much. ”.

Talent was for Schiele the main moral guideline and excuse. Biographers claim that he flew out of the Academy because of his attempts to get to know the models as close as possible, as close as possible. “Only in this way can I really feel them”Egon explained to his teacher numerous personal connections. In order to avoid scandal, it was decided to get rid of the young genius, he was expelled after three years of training.

Left without a guardian's money, without orders from the Secession craft shop, Schiele, without hesitation, uses his rare gift to create candid pictures - a rather profitable and demanded business then. Soon, the artist can already rent an apartment with a studio and work on paintings for the first major exhibition organized by Klimt in 1909 at the Vienna Gallery. Defiantly talented 19-year-old “pornographer” falls into an enviable company: next to his paintings are the works of Klimt himself, Vincent Van Gogh and Edward Munch. By the beginning of World War I, Schiele became famous, he annually participates in exhibitions: The Blue Horseman, Cologne Sonderbund, Vienna and the International Secession. After the death of Klimt in 1918, Schiele becomes the main artist of Austria, dreams of his own school of painting and a new association of artists.

Too close women

Egon Schiele was a short, fragile, nervous male boy with great pain in his eyes. He loved to take pictures and took this very seriously - he put out his hands and thought out poses. But the accusations of narcissism and exhibitionism, which now strive to reward him in every second biographical article, are broken up into dozens of complex self-portraits. Schiele tests himself on them, and does not admire himself. He is a martyr, freak, poet, hermit, husband, lover, but never handsome.

With this penchant for self-indulgence and introspection, so many women have visited his studio and his bed that no one even bothers to count them. Friends of the artists said that in his house there were always teenage girls who hid there from the beating of their parents, slept, bathed, mend their clothes, and at the same time posed for the next picture. But there were two women who became special for the artist: Valley Neutzil, model and first love of Schiele, and Edith Harms, wife and last love of Schiele.

Valley was 17 years old when she became Klimt's former model and Schiele's favorite model. For several years she will pose for Egon in multi-colored stockings, wandering around him in small towns in search of privacy. But in small towns they did not accept their love, peeped out the windows and complained about immorality. In one of these towns, Schiele was arrested for seducing a minor and storing obscene drawings, solemnly burned one of the paintings, instead of the planned 20 years in prison, they were held for 3 days and released.

When the daughter of Edith Harms, the owner of the locksmith’s workshop, appeared in Schiele’s life, he couldn’t find anything better than to give Wally a farewell letter and to offer annual summer trips with entertainments for two. Wally found nothing better than to leave working as a Red Cross nurse and die there a few years later.

Almost the entire history of Edith and Egon's family life is the story of his stay in the war. Schiele was called up 4 days after the wedding, and returned to his young wife a few months before his death. Edith died pregnant from the terrible Spanish flu epidemic that hit all of Europe. Egon outlived her for 3 days.

Author: Anna Sidelnikova