Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Egon Schiele along with inspiration from other artists

       I decided to write about Egon Schiele after hearing about him in class from Sarah Stimson, who I wrote about earlier. Stimson talked about taking one of Schiele's many self-portraits and using it as part of her "500 Drawings" exhibit. I believe that Stimson's copy of an artist who has been dead for almost a hundred years holds a distinct significance; it shows that artists oftentimes influence one another through their ideas and their works, even after their deaths.

Self Portrait, Egon Schiele
This is the original done by Schiele in watercolor on paper...

...And this is Stimson's exact copy, done in marker on aluminum foil.

Besides his many self-portraits, Schiele also painted a portrait of sunflowers, which is the one shown below. 

Sunflowers, 1911 by Egon Schiele
Egon Schiele, Sunflowers, 1911. Watercolor and pencil on paper. 17 1/8 in. x 11 1/2 in.

      The work features a collection of wilted sunflowers that have passed full bloom and are beginning to die after sowing their seeds. Schiele based this work on one done by his mentor, Gustav Klimt, who in turn borrowed the idea of sunflowers from Vincent Van Gogh.

Gustav Klimt, Farm Garden with Sunflowers, oil on canvas. 1912.
       Klimt's version of the idea features a lush arrangement of several different kinds of flowers, each one connecting with the other to make a colorful scene reminiscent of a flower garden in its natural form.
File:Vincent Willem van Gogh 128.jpg
Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers. Oil on canvas. 1888.
        Van Gogh's painting of sunflowers, on the other hand, is a simple still life of an ordinary bowl of sunflowers. A painting of what the artist sees, with no real political incense to fuel its content. Truly an academic painting.
        Artists can influence other artists generations ahead. Of course, with all of this artistic "borrowing," it becomes difficult for a casual viewer to draw the line in the ground and call a work completely original; when one thinks about it, one could argue that all artists borrow from each other. Artists use mostly the same media, the same tools, and most importantly the same inspiration: the real world. I could see that in Sarah Stimson's exhibit.

         I found an interesting article on artistic "borrowing" at

         For a biography on Egon Schiele and a related gallery of his works, visit

         Egon Schiele was considered a part of the Expressionist movement. For an article on Expressionism, visit


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