In 1912, Egon Schiele is an artist on the rise who exhibits in Austria and beyond. That same year, he painted Self-Portrait with Chinese Lanterns which will become his most famous one. The painting was made with its companion piece Portrait of Wally (Neuzil) who was his partner at the time. His comment is based on his quote “bodies have their own light which they consume to live: they burn, they are not lit from the outside.”
The #freeartist refers to his traumatizing stay in prison for 3 weeks in April 1912 for exhibiting erotic drawings in a place accessible to children.
Since Schiele is one of the very few Austrian artists to genuinely admire him, Gustav Klimt became his mentor and late 1912, introduces him to one of his wealthiest collectors, the industrialist August Lederer. Lederer invites Schiele to visit him, where he spends Christmas and New Year's. Lederer’s son Erich, whom he paints , becomes his pupil.
Sources: Egon Schiele the Leopold collection, Vienna, MoMa Catalogue, 1997
Egon self portrait, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 24" x 18" (61 x 46 cm)