Old Houses in Český Krumlov by Egon Schiele (Austrian, 1890–1918), 1914, Pencil and gouache on Japan paper, Albertina, Vienna, Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Nineteen-eighteen was a tough year for the Viennese Secession as both Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt passed. To mark the centenary of their deaths, this renowned East Coast institution is mounting an important exhibition of the artists’ figurative works.

“Klimt and Schiele: Drawn” is a significant exhibition on view soon at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, that examines both the divergences and compelling parallels between Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) and Egon Schiele (1890-1918) — particularly in their provocative depictions of the human body. Opening on February 25, the exhibition will highlight how Klimt and Schiele shared a mutual respect and admiration for each other’s talent.

Seated Woman in a Pleated Dress
Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862–1918)
about 1903
Black and white chalks on wrapping paper
*Albertina, Vienna
*Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

“Yet,” as the MFA observes, “their work is decidedly different in appearance and effect: Klimt’s drawings are often delicate, while Schiele’s are frequently bold. Klimt often used these sheets as preparatory designs for paintings, while Schiele considered his drawings to be independent pictures and routinely sold them. Both deployed frank naturalism, unsettling emotional resonances, and disorienting omissions to challenge conventions and expectations in portraits, nudes, and allegories.

“Organized thematically, this selection of 60 drawings begins with the artists’ academic origins and then investigates how each shifted away from traditional training to more incisive and unconventional explorations of humanity.” The exhibition will continue through May 28. To learn more, visit the MFA, Boston.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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