Nude Girl in yellow coat, 1911, Albertina, Vienna
In 1910, the year he executed his first breakthrough Expressionism works, Egon Schiele was scarcely twenty years old-four years younger than Oskar Kokoschka,
five years younger than Max Oppenheimer.
Youthful prodigies are less common in the visual arts than in music or literature, perhaps because artists require more extensive technical training to master the skills necessary to their form of creative expression.
Schiele achieved artistic maturity at an exceptionally early age, but his emotional development was at best average.
Consequently, he dealt more directly than most artists with the psychological problems of late adolescent and early adulthood, exploring anxieties and obsessions that adults tend to repress or sublimate.
That maybe why, even in today's age of anything-goes morality, Schiele's work still retains the ability to shock.
Schiele remained indefferent to, if not proud of, his fractious relationship with society at large. He felt that is special status as an artist should grant him immunity from normal standarts of behavior. He did not particularly care if people refused to buy his paintings. " I am glad there are so few who can recognise art," he noted in a letter to the surely unappreciative Czihaczek. " That is constant proof of it's divine nature"
Nor did Schiele seem particularly concerned that, once again, he was running afoul of community standards in Neulengbach. As he had in Vienna and Krumau, Schiele was accustomed to wooing Children and adolescents to his studio and persuading them to pose.
But whereas the children who had modeled for him in Vienna were unsupervised vagrants, the children of Neulengbach had strict, concerned, middle-class parents.
It was thus that Schiele came unwittingly to operate on the fingers of the law.
It took only one untoward incident to knock him into the abyss behond.