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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Discover Egon Schiele's route to academic respect and his relationships with other famous artists along the way in this extensive biography

Egon, having lost his father as a teenager, would offer no interest in developing his studies. His closest family were concerned as to what path this young man might take. Fortunately, his talents in art were starting to bear fruit already.

Schiele entered the Kunstgewerbeschule (the School of Arts and Crafts) in Vienna in 1906, but was soon transferred to the more conservative Akademie der Bildenden Künste. Gustav Klimt had started on a similar path and they were to join forces within the Viennese Secession movement.

Initially, his master would encourage a young Egon by swapping some of their artworks and also helping the artist to start of his career through technical and logistical advice. His contacts would also prove useful, particularly as Gustav was immediately upbeat about his understudy's talents.

Egon left the academy in 1909 and was now ready to pursue his new direction, already tired of academic teachings from other, more conservative influences.

When exhibiting his early work, Schiele was pitted alongside the likes of Edvard Munch and Vincent van Gogh. The artist was in the coming years to go on a voyage of discovery and experimentation. Sexualisation was to come to the forefront of his work and controversy was to follow him from here on in.