Egon Schiele was born in 1890 in Tulln, Austria. He attended school in Krems and Klosterneuburg and in 1906 he enrolled in the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna where he studied painting and drawing. Schiele soon became frustrated with the Akademie’s conservatism and he left the school in 1909 and founded the Neukünstgruppe, with other dissatisfied students.
In 1907, Schiele had met Gustav Klimt, who encouraged him and influenced his work. Invited by Klimt, Schiele had his first exhibition in 1909 at the Vienna Künstschau. At the Neukünstgruppe’s first exhibition, at the Piska Salon in Vienna in 1909, Schiele met the art critic and writer, Arthur Roessler who befriended him and praised his work. In 1910 Schiele became friends with Heinrich Benesch, though in the year that followed, he left Vienna in search of isolation and lived in a number of small villages. He began to concentrate on self-portraits and allegories of life, death and sex, producing a number of erotic works. Schiele was arrested for “immorality” and “seduction” in 1912 and even during his confinement he produced several watercolors and drawings.
In 1913 Schiele had his first solo show at the Galerie Hans Goltz in Munich and in 1914 another solo show of his works took place in Paris. In 1915 Schiele married and was drafted into the Austrian army. During this time he continued to exhibit and paint prolifically. In 1918 his solo show at the Vienna Secession brought him great critical acclaim. Schiele died in October of 1918 at the age of 28.