Egon Schiele

Left: Self-Portrait, Bust. 1912. Watercolor and pencil. Promised Gift to the National Gallery of Art.

Right: Portrait of Paris von Gütersloh. 1918. Oil. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.


Drawing The Line

Realism and Abstraction in Expressionist Art

March 20, 2018 - July 6, 2018

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 11, 2017 - October 13, 2017

The Woman Question

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka

March 14, 2017 - June 30, 2017

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 12, 2016 - October 7, 2016

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 21, 2015 - October 16, 2015

Alternate Histories

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Galerie St. Etienne

January 15, 2015 - April 11, 2015

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 15, 2014 - September 26, 2014

Modern Furies

The Lessons and Legacy of World War I

January 21, 2014 - April 12, 2014

Recent Acquisitions

And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market

July 9, 2013 - September 27, 2013

Face Time

Self and Identity in Expressionist Portraiture

April 9, 2013 - June 28, 2013

* Egon Schiele's Women

October 23, 2012 - December 28, 2012

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 17, 2012 - October 13, 2012

The Lady and the Tramp

Images of Women in Austrian and German Art

October 11, 2011 - December 30, 2011

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 5, 2011 - September 30, 2011

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

July 13, 2010 - October 1, 2010

* Egon Schiele as Printmaker

A Loan Exhibition Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Galerie St. Etienne

November 3, 2009 - January 23, 2010

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 24, 2008 - September 26, 2008

Transforming Reality

Pattern and Design in Modern and Self-Taught Art

January 15, 2008 - March 8, 2008

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 5, 2007 - September 28, 2007

Who Paid the Piper?

The Art of Patronage in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna

March 8, 2007 - May 26, 2007

More Than Coffee was Served

Café Culture in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna and Weimar Germany

September 19, 2006 - November 25, 2006

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 6, 2006 - September 8, 2006

* Coming of Age

Egon Schiele and the Modernist Culture of Youth

November 15, 2005 - January 7, 2006

Recent Acquisitions

And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market

June 7, 2005 - September 9, 2005

65th Anniversary Exhibition, Part I

Austrian and German Expressionism

October 28, 2004 - January 8, 2005

Sue Coe: Bully: Master of the Global Merry-Go-Round and Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 8, 2004 - October 16, 2004

Body and Soul

Expressionism and the Human Figure

October 7, 2003 - January 3, 2004

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 24, 2003 - September 12, 2003

In Search of the "Total Artwork"

Viennese Art and Design 1897–1932

April 8, 2003 - June 14, 2003

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 25, 2002 - September 20, 2002

Gustav Klimt/Egon Schiele/Oskar Kokoscha

From Art Nouveau to Expressionism

November 23, 2001 - January 5, 2002

The "Black-and-White" Show

Expressionist Graphics in Austria & Germany

September 20, 2001 - November 10, 2001

Recent Acquisitions (And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 26, 2001 - September 7, 2001

Art with an Agenda

Politics, Persuasion, Illustration and Decoration

April 10, 2001 - June 16, 2001

The Expressionist City

September 19, 2000 - November 4, 2000

Recent Acquisitions (And Some Thoughts on the Current Art Market)

June 20, 2000 - September 8, 2000

From Façade to Psyche

Turn-of-the-Century Portraiture in Austria & Germany

March 28, 2000 - June 10, 2000

Saved From Europe

In Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Galerie St. Etienne

November 6, 1999 - January 8, 2000

The Modern Child

(Images of Children in Twentieth-Century Art)

September 14, 1999 - November 6, 1999

Recent Acquisitions

(And a Look at Sixty Years of Art Dealing)

June 15, 1999 - September 3, 1999

Recent Acquisitions

(And Some Thoughts About Looted Art)

June 9, 1998 - September 11, 1998

Sacred & Profane

Michel Nedjar and Expressionist Primitivism

January 13, 1998 - March 14, 1998

* Egon Schiele (1890-1918)

Master Draughtsman

November 18, 1997 - January 3, 1998

Recent Acquisitions

A Question of Quality

June 10, 1997 - September 5, 1997

That Way Madness Lies

Expressionism and the Art of Gugging

January 14, 1997 - March 15, 1997

The Viennese Line

Art and Design Circa 1900

November 18, 1996 - January 4, 1997

Breaking All The Rules

Art in Transition

June 11, 1996 - September 6, 1996

The Fractured Form

Expressionism and the Human Body

November 15, 1995 - January 6, 1996

Recent Acquisitions

June 20, 1995 - September 8, 1995

On the Brink 1900-2000

The Turning of Two Centuries

March 28, 1995 - May 26, 1995

55th Anniversary Exhibition in Memory of Otto Kallir

June 7, 1994 - September 2, 1994

Symbolism and the Austrian Avant Garde

Klimt, Schiele and their Contemporaries

November 16, 1993 - January 8, 1994

Recent Acquisitions

June 8, 1993 - September 3, 1993

Naive Visions/Art Nouveau and Expressionism/Sue Coe: The Road to the White House

May 19, 1992 - September 4, 1992

Scandal, Outrage, Censorship

Controversy in Modern Art

January 21, 1992 - March 7, 1992

Viennese Graphic Design

From Secession to Expressionism

November 19, 1991 - January 11, 1992

The Expressionist Figure

September 10, 1991 - November 9, 1991

Recent Acquisitions

Themes and Variations

May 14, 1991 - August 16, 1991

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka

Watercolors, drawings and prints

January 22, 1991 - March 2, 1991

* Egon Schiele

November 13, 1990 - January 12, 1991

Recent Acquisitions

June 12, 1990 - August 31, 1990

The Galerie St. Etienne

A History in Documents and Pictures

June 20, 1989 - September 8, 1989

Fifty Years Galerie St. Etienne: An Overview

February 14, 1989 - April 1, 1989

Recent Acquisitions and Works From the Collection

June 14, 1988 - September 16, 1988

From Art Nouveau to Expressionism

April 12, 1988 - May 27, 1988

Recent Acquisitions and Works From the Collection

April 7, 1987 - October 31, 1987

Oskar Kokoschka and His Time

November 25, 1986 - January 31, 1987

Viennese Design and Wiener Werkstätte

September 23, 1986 - November 8, 1986

Gustav Klimt/Egon Schiele/Oskar Kokoschka

Watercolors, Drawings and Prints

May 27, 1986 - September 13, 1986

Expressionist Painters

March 25, 1986 - May 10, 1986

Expressionists on Paper

October 8, 1985 - November 23, 1985

European and American Landscapes

June 4, 1985 - September 13, 1985

Expressionist Printmaking

Aspects of its Genesis and Development

April 1, 1985 - May 24, 1985

Arnold Schoenberg's Vienna

November 13, 1984 - January 5, 1985

Early and Late

Drawings, Paintings & Prints from Academicism to Expressionism

June 1, 1983 - September 2, 1983

Aspects of Modernism

June 1, 1982 - September 3, 1982

The Human Perspective

Recent Acquisitions

March 16, 1982 - May 15, 1982

Austria's Expressionism

April 21, 1981 - May 30, 1981

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele

November 12, 1980 - December 27, 1980

* Egon Schiele

The Graphic Work

October 19, 1970

Austrian Art of the 20th Century

March 21, 1969

* Egon Schiele

Memorial Exhibition

October 31, 1968

The Wiener Werkstätte

November 16, 1966

* Egon Schiele

Watercolors and Drawings from American Collections

March 1, 1965

25th Anniversary Exhibition

Part I

October 17, 1964

Austrian Expressionists

January 6, 1964

Group Show

October 15, 1962

Paintings by Expressionists

January 27, 1962

Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka and Alfred Kubin

March 14, 1961

* Egon Schiele

November 15, 1960

Watercolors and Drawings by Austrian Artists from the Dial Collection

May 2, 1960

European and American Expressionists

September 22, 1959

* Egon Schiele

January 21, 1957

* Egon Schiele

March 12, 1954

Lovis Corinth, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele

May 27, 1953

Small, Good Art Works from the 19th and 20th Centuries

January 27, 1949

* Twenty-Five Years Neue Galerie

Egon Schiele

October 20, 1948

* Egon Schiele

Memorial Exhibition

April 5, 1948

Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele

September 15, 1945

* Egon Schiele

November 7, 1941

Saved from Europe

Masterpieces of European Art

July 1, 1940

Anton Faistauer, Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele

June 1, 1933

* Unknown Works by Egon Schiele

October 28, 1930

* Egon Schiele

Memorial Exhibition on the Tenth Anniversary of his Death

October 15, 1928

* Egon Schiele

November 20, 1923


November 13, 1990 - January 12, 1991




On June 12, 1890, Marie Schiele, wife of the stationmaster in the small Austrian town of Tulln, gave birth to her first and only son to survive infancy, Egon. Forty-five days later, in a field outside the French village of Auvers, Vincent van Gogh brought an end to his life, an art-historical coincidence that was not later lost on Egon Schiele, spiritual heir to the Dutch father of Expressionism. As 1990, the much heralded centenary of Van Gogh's death, draws to a close, one cannot help contrasting the oversubscribed commemorative spectacles in his native land with the far more subdued Schiele celebrations mounted by the various Austrian museums (most of them with the assistance or collaboration of the Galerie St. Etienne). One could conjure up all sorts of socio-historical explanations for this contrast, but perhaps the heart of the matter lies in the fact that Schiele has always been, and remains, most comfortable outside the mainstream. This is, indeed, part of his mystique.


Although Van Gogh was an outcast during his lifetime, he has gradually become ensconced as a pillar of the modernist tradition, whereas Schiele's reputation has remained fluid and comparatively ethereal. As each generation casts or remakes him in its own mold, he somehow refuses to fade into history. With his proto-punk haircut, Schiele has been, successively, a latter-day James Dean, a forebear of the hippie youth cult, and, today, a spooky harbinger of sexual controversy and persecution in the mode of Robert Mapplethorpe. While Schiele's unflagging contemporaneity has its advantages, there are also drawbacks in the resulting tendency for the artist to become lost in a progression of self-generating myths. We forget that Schiele is not really of the moment: he is a product of the 1890s, not the 1990s; he is distinctly Austrian, not American; and fin-de-siécle Vienna, despite what some may claim, is really not an accurate model for our own fin de siécle.


Schiele, born to a family of comfortably middle-class civil servants, made an unlikely rebel, and indeed this role was never one he consciously sought. But somehow over the course of his childhood, things went awry. In 1904, his father died of a progressive nervous disorder commonly believed to be of syphilitic origins, and thereafter Schiele abandoned any pretense of pursuing a conventional profession. Against the protests of his uncle and guardian, Leopold Czihaczek, he left highschool at the age of sixteen and applied for admission to the prestigious Vienna Academy of Fine Arts.


Schiele, though shy and softspoken, was possessed of a sureness of vision and a sense of self worth that rankled the authoritarian elders--most specifically Czihaczek and his professor Christian Griepenkerl--who saw themselves as proper masters of the boy's fate. Griepenkerl's steadfast adherence to the academic dictates of the waning century proved an irritant not just to Schiele, but to many of his classmates, who, inspired by the example of Gustav Klimt and the Secessionists, decided to leave the Academy in the spring of 1909. Despite the fact that Schiele was already exhibiting professionally, Czihaczek was disinclined to see this turn of events as a positive career move. His ward's frequent demands for money, coupled with his unflinching independence of will, precipitated a final break between the two.


Schiele was in Krumau--the Bohemian town that was his mother's birthplace and the artist's favorite landscape motif--when, in the summer of 1910, Czihaczek formally renounced his guardianship, thereby casting the twenty-year-old upon his own meager financial resources. Vienna at this time lacked an extensive network of commercial galleries, and so the economic options open to Schiele were limited. He turned to the Wiener Werkstätte crafts collective for occasional handouts, but found his most sustained source of support from private patrons. Unfortunately, however, this group of local collectors did not prove either large enough or rich enough to provide him with an adequate income over the long term. The artist therefore sought access to the more robust German gallery scene through the offices of the Munich dealer Hans Goltz. Again the results were less than encouraging: neither the German avant-garde nor the public took to Schiele's work, and he never, during his lifetime, acquired a sizeable following abroad.


In addition to being plagued by recurring financial crises, Schiele (convinced that the sancity of his artistic mission made him inviolable) was constantly running afoul of society's behavioral expectations. While clandestine affairs were perfectly permissible, he openly paraded his lover, Wally Neuzil, through the streets of Krumau (where he moved in the spring of 1911). The matter was brought to a head when a nosy neighbor observed one of the artist's nude models posing in his garden. Evicted from his quarters, Schiele left Krumau for Neulengbach, another small town where his unconventional lifestyle was no more likely to find acceptance.


Schiele's inevitable downfall was triggered by his habit of employing school children as models. When one such girl decided to run away from home and sought refuge with the artist, her parents brought a charge of kidnapping against him. The ensuing investigation led to further accusations of statutory rape and public immorality. It was on the latter count that Schiele, imprisoned for a total of twenty-four days, was convicted, the assumption being that his child models had been exposed to "indecent" works in his studio.


An assessment of Schiele's relative guilt or innocence in the so-called "prison incident" raises issues about the distinction between art and pornography that seem surprisingly relevant today. For Schiele, in his day, the incident was a powerful demonstration of the bonds society imposes on artistic freedom. In choosing, hereafter, to bow at least overtly to those forces, Schiele did not so much sell out as reclaim the bourgeois standards that had always been his birthright. Wally, who had stood loyally by during the prison ordeal, was jettisoned some three years later and replaced by Edith Harms, a nice middle-class girl.


Edith and Egon's marriage, in June 1915, was hastened by the artist's induction into the army, and the simultaneous commencement of married and military life brought a strange interlude to his artistic career. Schiele's creative output dwindled to an all time low in 1916, when he was assigned office duty at a prisoner of war camp in Mühling, but quickly rebounded in 1917, after he got himself reassigned to Vienna. Here his minimal military obligations permited plenty of time for artistic activity, and for the first time he achieved solid and lasting professional success. His work was acquired by the Austrian National Gallery, reproduced in portfolio form, and his roster of portrait commissions mushroomed. Crowning these achievements was a sell-out exhibition at the Vienna Secession in March 1918.


Following Klimt's untimely death in early 1918 and Oskar Kokoschka's self-imposed exile in Germany, Schiele was poised to take over the artistic leadership of his generation. His death, from influenza, in October 1918 cut his career off at its virtual beginning, leaving us with a body of work that celebrates the process of search and discovery, rather than becoming mired in the stasis of completion and certainty. Perhaps more so than any other artists', Schiele's oeuvre captures the quintessential adolescent quest for spiritual and sexual identity. And perhaps this is why his work remains forever fresh, forever new.