“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?” – Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele definitely has a signature graphic style. He embraces figural distortion and has a bold defiance of conventional norms of beauty.

Schiele’s portraits and self-portraits are emotionally and sexually very direct. He often depicted himself or those close to him, posed nude, in revealing and often unsettling angles.

Creating approximately three thousand plus drawings over the course of his brief career, Schiele was both an extraordinarily prolific and unequalled draughtsman. He considered drawing to be his primary art form, appreciating it for its immediacy of expression. Even his painterly works revealed a style that captured some of drawing’s essential characteristics, with its emphasis on contour, graphic mark, and linearity.

Painter Gustav Klimt was the primary influence on Schiele’s development, serving as Schiele’s friend and mentor. While Schiele inherited Klimt’s focus on erotic images of the female form (and shared Klimt’s insatiable sexual appetite), the emotionally intense, often unsettling Expressionist idiom Schiele eventually developed, with its investigation of his sitters’ inner life and emotional states, in some ways directly opposed his mentor’s Art Nouveau–inspired style, with Klimt preferring a more brilliant palette and glimmering, patterned surfaces.

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