by Frank Bergmann
"Seated Woman with Bent Knee"
Egon Schiele (1890-1918) was an Austrian Expressionist painter with a very distinctive style and aesthetic. Schiele had a somewhat traumatic and disturbed childhood. His father, Adolf, was a station master in the Austrian Sate Railways and young Egon became obsessed with trains. He constantly drew them over and over and the obsession became so consuming that his father destroyed his sketchbooks. Schiele also displayed incestuous tendencies toward his younger sister, Gerti. Concerned with his son's behavior, Adolf broke down the children's locked door, only to discover them developing film. When Egon was sixteen he took his twelve-year-old sister to a hotel room in Trieste without permission, but it is unknown what transpired there. Egon's confused sexuality can be seen throughout his work, which often contains contorted figures, explicitly nude and nude self-portraits.