This fascinating new book explores how Egon Schiele reinvented the art of portraiture, brilliantly capturing the inner lives of his numerous subjects-including himself.
This book traces Schiele's development as a portraitist through four principal chronological phases, from 1906 through 1918. Starting with the artist's rigorous training at the Vienna Academy, it chronicles Schiele's eventual break with academia and the emergence of his Expressionistic style. As Schiele honed his technical abilities, he gathered a coterie of patrons- many of whom he immortalized on canvas-and developed a tendency toward realism and introspection. Throughout his career Schiele tested the boundaries of traditional portraiture. Confrontational, explicitly erotic, and largely devoid of props or scenery, Schiele's portraits are seminal works of originality and deep empathy with the human condition. This volume also offers a close examination of Schiele's self-portraits and his relationship with Gustav Klimt, Schiele's gestic language in the context of contemporaneous photography and the silent film, as well as brief biographies of Schiele's subjects and transcriptions of illuminating letters pertaining to his life and work.