Schiele's portraits reunited in rare Vienna exhibit
Sunday 20 February 2011
For the first time, all portraits and self-portraits by Austrian artist Egon Schiele have been brought together in a single exhibit, opening this week at Vienna's Belvedere museum.
"Almost a third of Schiele's oil paintings were portraits. So it's incredible that there hasn't been an exhibit on this theme until now," Agnes Husslein-Arco, director of the Belvedere museum (www.belvedere.at), said Wednesday at a presentation of the exposition, which opens Thursday.
Portraits, a reflection of the artist's "exploration of the human psyche," are at the heart of Schiele's work, added curator Jane Kallir, a US art historian of Austrian origin.
In total, "Egon Schiele: Self-Portraits and Portraits" features 95 paintings, including 22 on display in Austria for the first time.
Together they trace chronologically his development as an artist, from his first works as a student at Vienna's Fine Arts Academy to his "expressionist breakthrough" starting in 1910 - a particularly productive year - up until maturity, which culminated with his marriage to Edith Harms, a young lady of the Vienna bourgeoisie.
Several of her portraits are here on display.
"This evolution is also emotional, you really follow somebody who was still almost a teenager when he created his first works, and you see him become an adult," said Kallir.
Schiele's self-portraits are also on prominent display at the Belvedere: rarely has an artist been a model for his own art as much as the Austrian, noted Kallir.
"Only maybe Rembrandt painted more self-portraits."
And yet, Schiele's career was short, barely 12 years from his beginnings at the Academy to his death in the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918, aged just 28.
In his self-portraits, he depicted himself as a saint, a sick man, or a prisoner - in 1912, he spent time in jail on suspicions, finally quashed, of abuse of minors.
Letters from the artist and several photographs complete the exhibit, which runs until June 13.
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
MOBO Awards 2014: Jess Glynne hits back at 'ridiculous' criticism of nominated white artists
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - review: Silly, sensational and sensitive
The Apprentice 2014: Nurun Ahmed and Lindsay Booth fired in double elimination
MOBO Awards 2014: Sam Smith sweeps the board with four gongs
The Apprentice, episode 3 - review: Lord Sugar hacks away at the deadwood with double elimination
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters