Schiele Surprise

schiele_kniende-im-orangenOne of the things I am very happy with from my recent explorations in Vienna was my proper discovery of Egon Schiele. Somehow he’d not been on my radar before, and while I enjoyed looking at lots of rock-star famous excellent work by Gustav Klimt, it was Schiele who, out of the two, really captivated me on this trip. (More on another artist later.) So as to not startle you while eating your morning wheaties, I’ll spare you one or two of my favourite drawings/paintings of his that spring most immediately to mind, and instead show you the one on the right, which is very striking (Kneeling female in orange-red dress, 1910). He seems to have had a thing for orange/red, I’ve noticed. Or maybe it is I who notice it a lot in his work. I mostly love that many of his paintings are very much like line drawings with colour added, and since his line drawing work is marvellous, this is just great, as far as I am concerned. The overall roughness and the juxtaposition of certain hard angles in a way that gives a beautiful finished whole is something I can’t help but admire.

Google some more Schiele for yourself. Then, perhaps out of left field, I’ll suggest the following (which occurred to me within seconds of standing in front of some of his work in the Leopold Museum). Track down Frank Miller and Lynn Varley’s beautiful masterpiece Electra Lives Again (1990) and see what you can see. If you already know it, look at it again with fresh, Schiele-tinted eyes.


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5 Responses to Schiele Surprise

  1. robert says:

    Schiele definitely has the edge over Klimt when it comes to capturing the obsession and ugliness that are the dark side of passion and desire; he rocks. One cannot, however, entirely disengage the fellow from a Barry McKenzie episode in which our hero’s enthusiasm for a Sheila is taken to reveal the refinement of his taste in the graphic arts.

  2. Clifford says:

    Brilliant! I’d already been thinking out some comedic possibilities for precisely that sort of colloquial misunderstanding… Nice to know it has already been done… Probably very well!



  3. Ele Munjeli says:

    When I was studying painting in art school so many years ago, Schiele was a favorite of my figure drawing instructor, along with Matisse and Balthus. Balthus likewise was excellent in his drawing, and his work was somewhat narrative and erotic. Google him for amusement. Looking at the work of Schiele, I’ve always wanted to meet his model, Wally.

  4. Clifford says:

    Balthus is certainly…. Playful. 🙂



  5. casey rentz says:

    I love Egon Shiele…seems like his figures just barely peek out of the background, yet their raciness draws you in to such a confrontation…an interesting dichotomy.