Egon Schiele, “Self-Portrait, Facing Right”, 1907 (Egon around the age of seventeen)

But look at his eyes. He has not only noticed all that deserves to be noticed but he commands the distance, the perspective. Look at his soft, gentle – sixteen years old but precise fingers. It’s the combination of eyes and fingers that target(s) the goal. And, of course, attention, concentration of the mind.


Schiele’s eyes in his self-portrait painting is not just too big or too expressive, or too attentive or too “graspy” or too incredible or too beautiful. His eyes are taking the world with itself, and not missing the tiniest detail, point.


Edit Schiele – “The artist’s wife, measuring her pulse, 1917“


Egon Schiele – “For Art and for My Loved Ones”, 1912


Egon is dissociating himself from his own nudity by emphasizing that he is disgusted by his own body. Also pay attention to his mannerly parted fingers emphasizing his distance from himself. He is standing nude in this impossible angle/position, “arrogantly” protecting him from the world by the strange “high collar”.


Egon feels alone as many adolescent or young people do, abandoned by their buddies, friends, family and loved ones and even by his own body. He is trying to recover his ties. But his eyes express a sense of being doomed, as if, in agreement with thefallen perspective of life.


Exhibitionistic postures may help a bit especially when a person accepts to be an innocent self-witness. His body is not straight, but bent, reclined, as if, burdened.


Egon Schiele, “Seated male nude (Self-Portrait)”, 1910

The young male body can be frightening if it doesn’t belong to an Ancient Greek person. The figure depicted here is not undereating or underfed or something. But what Schiele as a painter is interested in is the life of the body as such, the body without any niceties, without prosperity, body as such, the very living of the human body. He is covering his mouth, his resting face is, as if, painfully protecting or hiding itself. The more exhausted the body the more real and the more human it is, human without embellishment and wellness but with intensity, passion and stubbornness of life. The point of vitality – red eye, red nipples and bellybutton, and red genitals. Life, may be, painful, but it’s stubborn. Life is strong. Life is hot. Life is self-holding, self-embrace.


Egon Schiele, “Tormented by an Arrogant and a Judging World”

To look at the world eye to eye it means to become grey as an old wood. So, Egon’s body became grey like old piece of wood. He is looking at life and feeling pain in his eyes, hands and body. The world accepts him – it knows people. But Egon is not accepting the world. He feels pain when he looks at the world. He is too young. He never able to please the world. He never even liked it. He… liked the world when he was painting it – here, only here he feels that the world likes him. That’s why he continued to paint the world and the people. To paint as a way to love.


Egon Schiele, “I am more than my nudity, I am a human being”

This is the expression of the face of a person standing here. And it’s not nothing. The posing as a nude body supports the body, nudity, patience and curiosity.


Egon Schiele very often was horrified looking at the noisy world occupied with vanity. People who don’t live with ideas and meaningful moods are in crowds. You cannot even invite them to pose. Their interests are only petti manipulations of each other and scandals.


Egon Schiele in his adult period


Egon Schiele in a last moments of his youthful self-contemplation. And it looks like he did not stop his painterly enigmas. His right hand palm continues to reflect his face.

In autumn Schiele’s wife contracts the Spanish influenza and dies on October 28th. He catches the same illness. He is cared for by his wife’s family but dies on October 31st.