The journey Egon Schiele has undertaken in his short life has been nothing short of miraculous. “Ich ewiges Kind. Das Leben des Egon Schiele” is taking us back in time to Austria around 1900, a period of poverty and starvation under a glamorous surface.
Gregor Mayer recounts not just Schiele’s stormy relationship with lover Wally Neuzil and how Gustav Klimt and other pioneering artists of the era inspired him. The author also takes a closer look at the famed painter’s childhood in the Lower Austrian town of Tulln: observing arriving and departing trains from a windowsill, becoming a notorious troublemaker at school, trying to cope with his father’s death.
Mayer has analysed numerous letters and publications to illustrate how Schiele became an outstandingly innovative and truly game-changing artist. Schiele created a completely new kind of nude studies and self-portraits. Painting with urgency and passion, the artist was constantly confronted with financial bottlenecks and sexual offence accusations. He was eventually incarcerated for more than three weeks.
Schiele – who died from the Spanish flu just days before the end of World War One – is still one of the most powerful assets of Vienna’s holidaymaking business as thousands visit the Leopold Museum and the Belvedere gallery each week where a substantial part of his phenomenal legacy is on display.
Ich ewiges Kind. Das Leben des Egon Schiele
By Gregor Mayer
Published by Residenz Verlag (www.residenzverlag.at)