Egon Schiele's Self Portraits

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Egon Schiele's Self Portraits

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:07 am


Self-portrait with orange cloak (detail), 1913

Died at only 28 years of age, Egon Schiele (1890-1918) is perhaps the most expressionist of all expressionist painters, the author of disturbing figures in tortured foreshortenings, bodies mutilated according to the aims of the artist. His obsession for the “obscure” and even the obscene (male figures masturbating, nude female bodies in explicit postures) scandalized many, but he also got the admiration –though not always admitted- of his contemporaries. Even the much admired Klimt had to admit that the young Schiele was “a better draughtsman than me”.

“My being, my decomposition, transplanted to permanent values, must produce my force in other more developed beings (…). I am so rich I have to give myself away”. No other model pleases the artist as much as himself; he enjoys his self-representation and wishes the world to see it. Schiele, the brutal narcissist, even removes the picture's background, annulling any distraction that could compete with the “permanent me”.

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Last edited by asdf on Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:05 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Egon Schiele's Self Portraits

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:58 am


Self Portrait as Saint Sebastian 1914

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Re: Egon Schiele's Self Portraits

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:12 am


Self-Portrait With Arm Twisted Above Head, 1910

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Re: Egon Schiele's Self Portraits

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:23 pm


Double self portrait, 1915

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Re: Egon Schiele's Self Portraits

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:32 pm


Self-Portrait With Folded Hands, 1913

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Re: Egon Schiele's Self Portraits

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:41 pm


Nude Self Portrait, 1916

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Re: Egon Schiele's Self Portraits

Post  Guest on Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:15 am

From Edward Lucie-Smith, "Lives of the Great 20th-Century Artists"


Egon Schiele was regarded by many of his contemporaries as the predestined successor to Gustav Klimt, but died before he could fulfil his promise. His fascinating but not wholly admirable character is accounted for, at least in part, by his family background and upbringing. His father Adolf worked for the Austrian State Railways, and was in charge of the important station at Tulln where his son was born in June 1890. Since there was no suitable school at Tulln, Schiele was sent away in 1901, first to Krems, then to Klosterneuburg on the northern outskirts of Vienna. In 1904 the whole family followed him there because of his father's deteriorating health. Adolf Schiele's condition soon degenerated into madness, and in the following year he died, aged fifty-four. Schiele afterwards felt that he had had a special relationship with his father. In 1913 he wrote to his brother-in-law:

I don't know whether there is anyone else at all who remembers my noble father with such sadness. I don't know who is able to understand why I visit those places where my father used to be and where I can feel the pain... . I believe in the immortality of all creatures ... why do I paint graves and many similar things? because this continues to live in me.

He took a dislike to his mother because he felt she did not mourn for his father enough, or give her son the attention he craved:

My mother is a very strange woman ... She doesn't understand me in the least and doesn't love me much either. If she had either love or understanding she would be prepared to make sacrifices.

During his late adolescence Schiele's emotions were directed into an intense relationship with his younger sister, Gerti, which was not without its incestuous implications. When he was sixteen and she was twelve, he took her by train all the way to Trieste, where they spent the night in a double-room at a hotel. On another occasion, his father broke down the door of a locked room to see what the two children were doing in there together. In 1906 Schiele overcame the opposition of his guardian, his mother's brother, and applied for a place at the School of Arts and Crafts in Vienna, where Klimt had once studied. Perhaps those in charge scented a troublesome pupil - in any case they sent him on to the more traditional Academy of Fine Arts. Schiele duly passed the entrance examination, and was admitted at the age of sixteen. The next year he sought out his idol, Klimt, to show him some of his drawings. Did they show talent? 'Yes,' Klimt replied. 'Much too much!' Klimt liked to encourage younger artists, and he continued to take an interest in this gifted young man, buying his drawings, or offering to exchange them for some of his own, arranging models for him and introducing him to potential patrons. He also introduced Schiele to the Wiener Werkstütte, the arts and crafts workshop connected with the Sezession. Schiele did odd jobs for them from 1908 onwards - he made designs for men's clothes, for women's shoes, and drawings for postcards. In 1908 he had his first exhibition, in Klosterneuberg.

In 1909 he left the Academy, after completing his third year. He found a flat and a studio and set up on his own. At this time he showed a strong interest in pubescent children, especially young girls, who were often the subjects of his drawings. Paris von Guetersloh, a young artist who was Schiele's contemporary, remembered that the establishment was overrun with them:

They slept, recovered from beatings administered by parents, lazily lounged about - something they were not allowed to do at home - combed their hair, pulled their dresses up or down, did up or undid their shoes ... like animals in a cage which suits them, they were left to their own devices, or at any rate believed themselves to be.

Already a superb draughtsman, Schiele made many drawings from these willing models, some of which were extremely erotic. He seems to have made part of his income by supplying collectors of pornography, who abounded in Vienna at that time. Schiele was also fascinated by his own appearance, and made self-portraits in large numbers. He impressed not only himself, but others with whom he came into contact. The writer Arthur Roessler, one of his staunchest defenders and promoters, described him thus:

Even in the presence of well known men of imposing appearance, Schiele's unusual looks stood out ... He had a tall, slim, supple figure with narrow shoulders, long arms and long-fingered bony hands. His face was sunburned, beardless, and surrounded by long, dark, unruly hair. His broad, angular forehead was furrowed by horizontal lines. The features of his face were usually fixed in an earnest, almost sad expression, as though caused by pains which made him weep inwardly. ... His laconic, aphoristic way of speaking created, in keeping with the way he looked, the impression of an inner nobility that seemed the more convincing because it was obviously natural and in no way feigned.

During this period, and indeed afterwards, Schiele liked to give an impression of extreme poverty. But his claims that at this time he was virtually in rags are at odds not only with what his contemporaries have to say, but with the photographs taken of him. His letters make it plain that he suffered from a degree of persecution mania - for example, he wrote in a letter of 1910: 'How hideous it is here! Everyone envies me and conspires against me. Former colleagues regard me with malevolent eyes.' In 1911 Schiele met the seventeen-year-old Wally Neuzil, who was to live with him for a while and serve as the model for some of his best paintings. Little is known of her, save that she had previously modelled for Klimt, and had perhaps been one of the older painter's mistresses. Schiele and Wally wanted to get out of the claustrophobic Viennese milieu, and went to the small town of Krumau, with which Schiele had family connections, but were drive out by the disapproval of the inhabitants. They then moved to the equally small town of Neulengbach, half an hour from Vienna by train. just as it had been in Vienna, Schiele's studio became a gathering place for all the delinquent children of the neighbourhood. His way of life inevitably aroused animosity, and in April 1912 he was arrested. The police seized more than a hundred drawings which they considered pornographic, and Schiele was imprisoned, to await trial for seducing a young girl below the age of consent. When the case came before a judge the charges of abduction and seduction were dropped, but the artist was found guilty of exhibiting an erotic drawing in a place accessible to children. The twenty-one days he had already spent in custody were taken into account, and he was sentenced to only three days' imprisonment. Though the magistrate made a point of personally burning one of Schiele's drawings before the assembled crowd, he was very lucky to escape so lightly. While he was in prison, he produced a series of self-portrait drawings, inscribed with self-pitying phrases: 'I do not feel punished; rather purified'; 'To restrict the artist is a crime. It is to murder germinating life.' The Neulengbach affair had no effect on his career, and apparently little on his character, apart from supplying him with tangible proof that he was indeed a victim. In 1912 he was invited to show at the Sonderbund exhibition in Cologne, and he was also taken on by the important dealer Hans Goltz of Munich. Their relationship was a constant struggle over money, Schiele always wanting the highest possible prices for his work. Meanwhile he was writing boastfully to his mother, in March 1913:

All beautiful and noble qualities have been united in me ... I shall be the fruit which will leave eternal vitality behind even after its decay. How great must be your joy, therefore, to have given birth to me.

Schiele's narcissism, exhibitionism and persecution-mania can all be found united in the poster he produced for his first one-man exhibition in Vienna, held at the Galerie Arnot at the very beginning Of 1915, in which he portrayed himself as St Sebastian. The year 1915 marked a turning-point in Schiele's life. Some time in the previous year he had met two middleclass girls who lived opposite his studio. Edith and Adéle harms were the daughters of a master locksmith. Schiele was attracted to both of them, but eventually fixed his sights on Edith; by April 1915 he was engaged to her, and Wally Neuzil was rather cold-bloodedly dismissed. Schiele's last meeting with Wally took place at their 'local', the Café Eichberger, where he played billiards nearly every day. He handed her a letter in which he proposed that, despite their parting, they take a holiday together every summer - without Edith. Not surprisingly, Wally refused. She joined the Red Cross as a nurse and died of scarlet fever in a military hospital near Split in Dalmatia just before Christmas 1917. Schiele and Edith were married, despite her family's opposition, in June 1915. Schiele's mother was not present.

Four days after his marriage Schiele was called up. Compared with the majority of his contemporaries, he had an easy war. He was transferred to a detachment transporting Russian prisoners-of-war to and from Vienna, and later became a clerk in a prison camp for Russian officers in Lower Austria. Finally, in January 1917, he was moved to Vienna itself to work for the 'Imperial and Royal Commission for the Army in the Field' - a depot which supplied food, drink, tobacco and other comforts to the Austrian army. In a country where food was increasingly short, it was a privileged place to be.

Schiele's army service did not halt the growth of his reputation - he was now thought of as the leading Austrian artist of the younger generation, and was asked to take part in a government-sponsored exhibition in Stockholm and Copenhagen intended to improve Austria's image with the neutral Scandinavian powers. In 1918 he was invited to be a major participant in the Sezession's 49th exhibition. For this he produced a poster design strongly reminiscent of the Last Supper, with his own portrait in the place of Christ. Despite the war, the show was a triumph. Prices for Schiele's drawing trebled, and he was offered many portrait commissions. He and Edith moved to a new and grander house and studio. Their pleasure in it was brief. On 19 October 1918 Edith, who was pregnant, fell ill with Spanish influenza, then sweeping Europe. On 28 October she died. Schiele, who seems never to have written her a real love-letter, and who in the midst of her illness wrote his mother a very cool letter to say that she would probably not survive, was devastated by the loss. Almost immediately he came down with the same sickness, and died on 31 October, three days after his wife."

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Re: Egon Schiele's Self Portraits

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:29 pm


1915



1914

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Re: Egon Schiele's Self Portraits

Post  Guest on Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:03 am

EGON SCHIELE (1890 - 1918)

Although Egon Schiele had a very brief artistic career, cut short by his premature death at 28, he is a highly regarded and influential artist in today’s art world. While this is due to several different reasons, his ability to develop a unique, distinctive style and his unmatched skill as a draughtsman have played a major role in establishing his position as a world renowned artist and a leader of the Austrian Expressionist movement.


BIOGRAPHY


Schiele was born in 1890 in Tulln, Austria. Even as a child he showed great interest in drawing and, consequently, enrolled in the Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule, a progressive Viennese art school, in 1906. However, because of his great proficiency and talent, the professors at the kunstgewerbeschule soon encouraged him to attend the more traditional Akademie der Bildenden Künste, where he studied with the painter Christian Griepenkerl. Frustrated with the extremely conservative methods of the school, Schiele and a number of young, avant-garde artists, including Anton Peschka, left the school in 1909 to exhibit together as the Neukunstgruppe.


By 1909, Schiele had also established a close relationship with the famous Austrian Painter Gustav Klimt and was working under Klimt’s guidance.


In the summer of 1911, Schiele moved to Neulengbach on the outskirts of Vienna with his girlfriend, Wally Neuzil. However, the townspeople there were scandalized by Schiele’s art and unconventional lifestyle. As a result, they arrested him for supposedly seducing a young girl and imprisoned him for 24 days on the charge that he displayed his “immoral” drawings in the presence of children.


Schiele and Wally returned to Vienna in the fall of 1912, and Schiele’s artwork began to garner public recognition. His work was exhibited in a number of international exhibitions, and he received many commissions.


By the end of 1915, several dramatic changes had taken place in Schiele’s life. First, he left Wally and married Edith Harms. After separating from Wally, Schiele’s work began to exhibit more positive undertones and feelings. But soon after his marriage, Schiele was called for military service in World War I; he served as a guard for Prussian prisoners of war.


Schiele returned to Vienna in 1917, where he began once again to devote all his time to his artwork and continued to gain more recognition. However, on October 31, 1918, Schiele died of Spanish Influenza.


ARTISTIC STYLE AND TECHNIQUE


Though his first works clearly evidence the influences of his mentors, in particular Gustav Klimt, Schiele was able to develop a distinctive and personal style remarkably early in his artistic career. While his drawing style grew more realistic over time, it remained highly expressionistic and energetic. Through his drawing technique, most notably his manipulation of perspective, composition, and line. Schiele honestly portrays the emotions and humanity of his subjects. This consequently allows him to explore deep, psychological themes in his art, including sexuality, immortality, and death.


A major characteristic of Schiele’s drawing style is his revolutionary use of perspective, evident in his drawing Lovers. Schiele often drew from an elevated perspective and chose reclining poses for his models. This technique creates extreme foreshortening, making his figures seem distorted even when they are correctly proportioned. Foreshortening and distortion also work to make Schiele’s figures appear gaunt, twisted, and awkward; these impressions are essential in illustrating themes such as the frailty and brevity of human life, as well as in giving Schiele’s art a voyeuristic quality.


Lovers (Self-Portrait with Model). 1913. Pencil on paper.

Schiele’s unique compositions, which use both traditional and untraditional techniques, are also essential to his works and the messages they convey. His compositions are traditional in that they form verticals, horizontals, diagonal, crosses, triangles, and other patterns that draw the viewer’s eye into the piece, move the viewer’s eye throughout it, and often times force the viewer to focus on particular details. However, Schiele’s compositions are also unconventional because of the way he crops his figures. He purposely leaves extremities, such as hands and feet, that should be visible, unfinished. In addition, he sometimes places his figures so that their limbs are cropped in unusual places by the edges of the plane. These techniques give the drawings a sense of awkwardness and spontaneity, which, in turn, create a sense of liveliness and energy. Schiele also leaves the majority of his backgrounds as empty, negative spaces that highlight his subjects’ solitude and isolation. Schiele’s Self-Portrait from 1911 is an excellent example of all these compositional techniques.


Self-Portrait. 1911. Gouache, watercolor, and pencil with white heightening on paper.

One skill that Schiele is most commended for is his mastery of line. Line variation is essential to the appearances of his drawings, such as Seated Semi-nude, as well as to the many feelings that they evoke. Schiele uses thicker lines to describe large areas and thinner lines to describe smaller details. His lines curve where he describes the softness or roundness of a particular figure or object. But at times they are stiff and angular, creating feelings such as tension and anxiety. Schiele also restates lines to highlight certain areas of his drawings and give them a sense of movement or energy. While his lines vary greatly in width, darkness, and straightness, they are always bold, spontaneous, and energetic. Additionally, the appearance of the lines greatly contributes to the mood of the piece, making his drawing highly expressive.


Seated Semi-nude. 1918. Black crayon on paper.

While Schiele was certainly talented, that is not the only reason why he was such a skillful artist. He continuously practiced drawing from observation; in less than a decade, he produced thousands of figure drawings. Furthermore, Schiele was confident and fearless in his drawing. He was willing to use challenging perspectives, never erased, and constantly experimented without worrying about making mistakes. This approach to drawing was essential in helping Schiele become a great draughtsman, and it sets a good example for us as we learn to draw; Schiele teaches us that if we want to improve our drawing skills, we must constantly practice and take risks.


SOURCES

Kallir, Jane. Egon Schiele” Drawings and Watercolors. Ed. Ican Vartanian. London: Thames and Hudson, 2003. Print.
Lachnit, Edwin. “Egon Schiele.” Grove Art Online. 26 Jul. 2004. Oxford Art Online. Web. 20 Nov. 2009.


http://drawingatduke.blogspot.com/2009/12/egon-schiele-1890-1918.html


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Re: Egon Schiele's Self Portraits

Post  Guest on Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:05 am

This is an example of his earlier works


Danae. 1909. Oil on canvas.

More a la art nouveau

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Re: Egon Schiele's Self Portraits

Post  Guest on Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:25 am

Vera Cruz wrote:
Nude Self Portrait, 1916
I can't believe... they removed the image Rolling Eyes


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