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Painting, 1918, 152×162 cm

Description of the artwork «Family»

The Spanish flu epidemic that swept through Europe in 1918 and claimed the lives of tens of millions of people, received the Egon Schiele the mighty, and the terrible illustration which ever received the sickness in the history of painting. The epidemic began in the last months of the First world war and killed far more people than this massive military conflict. Europe moved troops, vengeance went trains and flying airships, with the inexorable speed of spreading a deadly disease through towns and countries. Now whenever I write encyclopedic articles, and historical essays about the "Spanish flu", using the painting by Egon Schiele "Family".

By 1918, Egon Schiele was a leading artist of Austria, after the death Klimt that is, he had all chances to become the leader of the Viennese avant-garde artists and to lead exhibition events. Besides the artist married, got a big Studio and conceived a series of huge paintings.

Even the war spared him. Experts auction house Christie's told the story: the commander of sile Carl Grunwald in time of peace was an antique dealer, and therefore in the art a little understanding. See the work of a young artist, he tried one, and later made every effort to rescue Egon from being sent to the front. Guarding prisoners of war and the warehouses in the back, the artist continued to paint and on the war knew only by hearsay.

The painting "the Family" is one of the most quiet and sad Schiele. It depicts the artist himself, his wife Edith harms, and their unborn child. It is difficult to say how the pain had a presentiment of impending death, and predicted tragedy. However, the feeling of doom and terror in this work was the main right from the start.

Here it is not so, as usual with the awl. His characters usually break into the space of the painting – like Wade in the gorge. Their condition is always limiting, arms and legs twisted in an unnatural gestures and poses, the body – solid bones, veins, lines and nerves are strained. And here as if everything finally stopped and relaxed, the body almost for the first time, Schiele had acquired a softness and smoothness. They resigned and waiting for the coming darkness, waiting until the world will swallow them.

And so it happened. The life of sile ended as was to end the life of an artist-expressionist, tragically. Edith died of Spanish flu at the 6th month of pregnancy. Three days after she died Egon Schiele.

There are in the history of art generations, which are internal to the logic of the era and their own creativity lived happy or miserable life. After sun centenarians-Impressionists the time for entirely different destinies: Van Gogh committed suicide, saying before his death, "the sadness will last forever", Edvard Munch died in a ripe old age, but all alone, Franz Marc died in the First world, Glue and Kokoschka were forced to go into exile. Certainly, the twentieth century found would for Egon Schiele is another tragic scenario of life, if with the "Spanish flu" has not developed as quickly.

Author: Anna Sidelnikova
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Style of art: Expressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1918

Size: 152×162 cm

Artwork in selections: 53 selections