Egon Schiele was an expressionist during a time when expressionism was new and innovative. For the most part, expressionist works today are worthless decoration. I explored the ideas of expressionistic oil painting early in my career and eventually rejected it. Expressionism is an ism that I grew to detest, then appreciate, then pass off as a phase, then start to enjoy again. Nonetheless, Schiele was clearly an innovative artist with uninhibited erotic desires. The majority of his subject matter are erotic nudes.
“Portrait of Paris von Gütersloh”
1918, oil on canvas.
Egon Schiele died from influenza in 1918 before completing this painting. Regardless, this unfinished painting is a masterpiece. The subject, Paris von Gütersloh, a painter, writer, actor, producer, etc, was a friend Schiele admired for his prolific and expansive career in the arts. This being the last painting Schiele worked on, it is a treat to look at because we have a chance to see the process of his work. It is display at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
“I do not deny that I have made drawings and watercolors of an erotic nature. But they are always works of art. Are there no artists who have done erotic pictures?”