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Egon Leo Adolf Schiele (1890-1918)



Egon Schiele : femme couchée sur le dos

Austrian expressionist artist Egon Leo Adolf Schiele, b. June 12, 1890, d. Oct. 31, 1918, was at odds with art critics and society for most of his brief life. Even more than Gustav Klimt, Schiele made eroticism one of his major themes and was briefly imprisoned for obscenity in 1912. His treatment of the nude figure suggests a lonely, tormented spirit haunted rather than fulfilled by sexuality. At first strongly influenced by Klimt, whom he met in 1907, Schiele soon achieved an independent anticlassical style wherein his jagged lines arose more from psychological and spiritual feeling than from aesthetic considerations. He painted a number of outstanding portraits, such as that of his father-in-law, Johann Harms (1916; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City), and a series of unflinching and disquieting self-portraits. Late works such as The Family (1918; Oesterreichische Galerie, Vienna) reveal a newfound sense of security.


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