Egon Schiele (Tulln an der Donau, Austria, 1890 – Vienna, 1918) studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. In 1907 he met Gustav Klimt who became his mentor. In 1909, through the architect Joseph Hoffmann, another figure of the Vienna Secession movement, Schiele became introduced to the Wiener Werkstätte association of artists, architects and designers. The artist participated in the legendary international exhibition with the Sonderbund in Koln in 1912, changing the course of modern art. Schiele’s work rapidly evolved toward Impressionism with compositions that exhibited his sensibility for starkly capturing body language. A masterful control of composition, and his ability to evoke pain allowed him to portray the strength and weakness of the figures he depicted.
Romantically linked to one of Klimt’s models, Valerie Neuzil, who was 17, he moved from Krumau to Neulenbach, close to Vienna, fleeing from accusations of immorality. During World War I he portrayed Russian prisoners of war, who he had to escort as a soldier. He participated in the international exhibitions of the Vienna Secession in Zürich, Prague, and Desden. He died in 1918 after having contracted the Spanish Flu.