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Born 1890, Egon Schiele was an Austrian painter, his work being passionate, intense and full of raw sexuality with an array of self-portraits, many of them naked. He was a major figurative painter of the early 20th century. His art portrayed twisted body shapes and expressive lines. At age 15 he was given a tutor, and in 1906 applied to the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Arts and Crafts). Within a year, he was sent to the more traditional Akademie der Bildenden Künste but left after three years due to his teacher being too strict.

After the Academy in 1909, Schiele began to explore his own techniques, his body and his sexuality. His bold style include figure distortions, deformities and sexual openness. His paintings of the naked form was challenging to both scholars and progressives alike. He took part in numerous exhibitions in Prague, Budapest, Cologne and Munich. In 1912 he was arrested for seducing a girl under the age of consent and spent a few weeks in prison. In 1913, the first solo exhibition of Schiele’s work took place in Munich and in 1914, the next one was exhibited in Paris.

During WW1, Schiele was ordered for duty in Prague but was still exhibiting in Berlin with successful shows in Zurich, Prague and Dresden. He was allowed to draw and paint the prisoners. In 1917 he had 50 works accepted to the prestigious Secession’s 49th exhibition. In 1918, he succumbed to the Spanish flu epidemic. He was only 28 years old.


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