Egon Schiele (1890-1918) was an Austrian painter who is known for his intense and expressive works. Schiele was born in Tulln, a town near Vienna, to Adolf and Marie Schiele. His father was a railway employee and his mother was a homemaker. Schiele's childhood was marked by tragedy, as his father died of syphilis when he was just 14 years old, and his younger sister died of influenza when he was 16.
Schiele attended the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts at the age of 16, but he was quickly disillusioned with the academic style of painting that was taught there. He was more interested in the expressive and emotional qualities of art, and he began to develop his own unique style.
In 1915, Schiele married Edith Harms, a young woman from a wealthy family who was also interested in art. The couple had a tumultuous relationship, but they remained together until Schiele's death.
Schiele was influenced by a number of artists, including Gustav Klimt, Vincent van Gogh, and Edvard Munch. His technique was characterized by bold lines, distorted figures, and an intense emotional expressiveness. Schiele's work often dealt with themes of sexuality, mortality, and the human form.
Schiele's artistic career was cut short when he died of the Spanish flu in 1918, at the age of 28. Despite his short life, Schiele left a significant footprint on the art world, inspiring future generations of artists with his bold and expressive style.
Here are Schiele's 5 most important paintings:
"The Self-Seers" (1911) - This painting shows two figures, one male and one female, standing back-to-back with their eyes closed. The painting is an exploration of the inner self and the subconscious mind.
"Dead Mother" (1910) - This painting is a deeply emotional portrayal of Schiele's mother after her death. The painting is raw and visceral, showing the pain and anguish that Schiele felt at the loss of his mother.
"Seated Woman with Bent Knee" (1917) - This painting shows a woman sitting on a chair with her knee bent, her arms wrapped around her leg. The painting is a study of the female form, showing Schiele's interest in the human body and its expressive potential.
"Portrait of Wally Neuzil" (1912) - This painting is a portrait of Schiele's lover and muse, Wally Neuzil. The painting is notable for its intense emotional expressiveness and its bold, graphic style.
"The Embrace" (1917) - This painting shows two nude figures locked in an embrace, their bodies intertwined. The painting is a celebration of human sexuality and the beauty of the human form, and it is one of Schiele's most famous works.