Expressionism and Confrontation in Egon Schiele


Egon Schiele (1890 - 1918) was an Austrian painter and celebrated member of Expressionism, an artistic movement flourished at the beginning of the 20th century. In art manuals he is often depicted as the innovator of figure painting who restrained from using much color. In fact, his work is much more distinct for the curvy black lines contouring most of his shapes.

Related: imagination and emotions in Vincent van Gogh

"Self-Portrait with Chinese Lantern Plant" is the most acclaimed of his many self-portraits, in which he is typically staring directly at the beholder, making the experience both intense and confrontational. His art is also characterized by a strong abnegation in respect to the idealization subjects, reason why this, among other pieces, reproduces scars and other defects through his characteristic contoured style. Curiously, this painting has a companion piece illustrating his lover, Wally Neuzil. Regrettably, the masterpiece was stolen by the Nazis from a Jewish house in Austria, and returned to Vienna in 2010 after an extensive legal battle. The movie “portrait of Wally” interestingly recounts the story. 

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