Archive for Egon Schiele

Der Kunst ihre Freiheit [and the scare of the nude]

Posted in Books, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2018 by xi'an

A poster campaign advertising for several exhibits of modernist painters in Vienna, including major paintings by Egon Schiele, has met with astonishing censoring from the transport companies posting these advertisements. (And by Facebook, which AIs are visibly too artificial and none too intelligent to [fail to] recognise well-known works of art.) Not very surprising, given the well-known conservatism of advertising units in transportation companies, but nonetheless appalling, especially when putting these posters against the truly indecent ones advertising for, e.g., gas guzzling machines and junk food.

Leopold Museum, Wien

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , on March 27, 2016 by xi'an

Leopold Museum, Vienna, Dec. 03, 2015While in Vienna last December, we visited the Leopold Museum, which contains a large collection of paintings of Gustav Klimt and even more of Egon Schiele. This was a fantastic opportunity, not only to discover many paintings I did not know, but also to set both painters within their time and within Vienna. And to realise the magnitude of the tragic destiny of Schiele, who died three days after his wife from the Spanish flu (and from living in a damp apartment) but also who was sent to jail a fewEgon Schiele, House with shingles, 1915 weeks in 1912 for pornography and abduction, who saw his father die early from syphilis, and who abandoned his devoted lover Wally to marry “Egon Schiele, self-portrait, 1909advantageously”… The exhibit also puts his life and work in perspective with the final years of imperial Vienna and of a doomed way of life.  (Klimt, who was Schiele’s mentor and most admirative of his talent, also died from the Spanish flu in early 1918. The museum contains some of his most famous “Golden phase” paintings as well as some less known countryside paintings that reminded me of Seurat.) Although this is a rather rhetorical interrogation, one wonders what could have happened to Schiele and his unique style, had he survived the Spanish flu. Maybe he would not have survived that long, given that his name was included into the “degenerate artists” list made twenty years later by the Nazis…

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