Egon Schiele was born in Tulln, Lower Austria on June 12, 1890, the son of a railway official. His teachers at the Klosterneuburg Realgymnasium soon noticed his extraordinary talent, and encouraged him to study at the Academy of Fine Arts. Faced with the rigidity of the teaching at the Academy, he left after only two years and founded the "New Art Group" with a number of friends.
In 1909, Schiele was able to celebrate his first successes, getting to know through his contacts with the art critic Arthur Roessler such patrons of the arts as Reininghaus and Dr. Reichel, who provided him with the means for financial survival. In 1920, Schiele left Vienna and lived for a time in Krumau (Cesky Krumlov) in Southern Bohemia and in Neulengbach, where he was found guilty of alleged abuse of minors and sent to prison. It is not clear whether he was really guilty or whether he simply used the children as his models, but he managed to regain a foothold in Vienna again in 1912. He was conscripted into the army, but in 1917, having married in the meantime, was transferred to Vienna, where he was able to devote himself to art despite the turmoil of the war. A few months after the death of his friend Gustav Klimt in 1918, Vienna was hit by the "Spanish flu" that had cost millions of lives around the world. Schiele died of the flu only 3 days after his wife, on October 31, 1918. His now world-famous expressionist portraits and nudes speak of suffering, loneliness, youth, old-age, eroticism and death. His landscapes and cityscapes never achieved the same degree of fame, although they represent roughly half of his creative output. The painting is owned by the Vienna Leopold Museum, which has the largest collection of Schiele's works. The 2004 autumn exhibition at the Leopold Museum was devoted to Schiele's landscapes.