Egon Schiele was an Austrian painter. A protégé of Gustav Klimt, Schiele was a major figurative painter of the early 20th century. Schiele's work is noted for its intensity, and the many self-portraits the artist produced. The twisted body shapes and the expressive line that characterize Schiele's paintings and drawings mark the artist as an early exponent of Expressionism, although still strongly associated with the art nouveau movement. The most important collection of Schiele's work is housed in the Leopold Museum, Vienna.
Egon Schiele was scarcely twenty years old in 1910 when he emerged as an Expressionist of major talent. Among the small group of patrons that supported him during this early period was Gustav Klimt, who purchased some of the young artist’s drawings and introduced him to important collectors. Nevertheless, most people were outraged by Schiele’s art and unconventional behavior. In fact, Schiele characteristically highlighted and exaggerated aspects of his physical character as part of an ongoing process of intense personal scrutiny. Egon Schiele is known for being grotesque, erotic, pornographic, and disturbing, focusing on sex, death, and discovery. He focused on portraits of others as well as himself. In his later years, while he still worked often with nudes, they were done in a more realist fashion. He also painted tributes to Van Gogh's Sunflowers as well as landscapes and still lifes.