The Museum of Avant-garde

Egon Schiele

Austria (1890—1918)
Born in Tulln, near Vienna, Schiele came from a modest background and poor health family. A series of personal tragedy and losses marked his life and are somehow reflected in some of Schiele’s work. His talent was recognised since his very early age and after his dad’s death his uncle encouraged him to enrol at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts. After a year he was sent to the Academy of Figurative Arts. In 1907 Schiele met Gustav Klimt, who decided to mentor him and introduced him to the Wiener Werkstätte – the workshops connected to the Viennese Secession. In 1909 he left the academy and was invited by Klimt to exhibit in the Kunsthaus together with artists like Van Gogh and Munch. In these years Schiele’s exploration for nude and human figures continued as he exhibited with the Neukunstgruppe in Prague, Budapest, with the Sonderbund in Cologne and the Secessionist shows in Munich. After meeting a 17 years old model Wally, they moved together to Neulengbach but his lifestyle and entourage combined with his paintings and drawings with explicit sexual overtones caused him to be imprisoned for pornography. In 1914 he married Edith Harms and continued his work even during the WWI. In 1918 he was invited to exhibit at the 49th Secession exhibition in Vienna. In the autumn of the same year the Spanish flu took Edith, six month pregnant. Three days later Egon Schiele died too at the age of 28.