His haggard, overstretched figures, extreme depiction of sexuality and self-portraits, in which he staged himself with emaciated facial expressions bordering between brilliance and madness, had none of the decorative quality of Klimt’s hymns of love, sexuality and yearning devotion. Instead, Schiele’s work spoke of a brutal honesty, one that would upset and irreversibly change Viennese society.
Although his works were later defamed as “degenerate” and for a time were almost forgotten altogether, they influenced generations of artists—from Gьnter Brus and Francis Bacon to Tracey Emin. Today, his then misunderstood oeuvre continues to fetch exorbitant prices on the international art market.
This monograph, first published in an XL edition, is now available in a slightly abridged, more compact edition to celebrate TASCHEN’s 40th anniversary and features the paintings and drawings that retrace the fertile last decade of Schiele’s life. These works are accompanied by essays introducing his life and oeuvre, situating the Austrian master in the context of European Expressionism and charting his extraordinary legacy.