Egon Schiele (1890–1918) is the painter who had the most long-lasting influence on the Vienna art scene after the great era of Klimt came to a close. After a short flirtation with the style of Klimt, his mentor, Schiele soon questioned the aesthetic orientation to the beautiful surface of the Viennese Art Nouveau with his rough and not easily accessible paintings.
Many contemporaries found Schiele’s expressive nudes and self-portraits, with their strange movements and morbid colours, to be ugly and even morally objectionable—criticism which culminated in criminalizing the painter as ‘obscene’ and resulted in 1912 in an indictment and short jail sentence. However, not even his harshest critics could dispute the artist’s extraordinary drawing talent. This book gives a concise overview of the brief, brilliant career of Egon Schiele.