Egon Schiele was born on 12 June 1890 in the small town of Tulln as the son of a railway official. Along with painters such as Gustav Klimt and Oskar Kokoschka, he was one of the most important representatives of Viennese modernism. On 31 October 1918 Schiele died of the Spanish flu shortly after the death of his pregnant wife. Despite his short life, Schiele produced over 300 oil paintings and about 2,800 drawings and watercolors.
Already Schiele's drawing professor Ludwig Karl Strauch became aware of his talent. After the death of his mentally ill father, his uncle Leopold Czihaczek was appointed guardian in 1906. Against his uncle's will, Schiele dropped out of school and enrolled at the Vienna Academy in 1906, where he felt restricted by his teacher Christian Griepenkerl and the strictly academic procedures. At the "International Art Show 1909", which Klimt presided over as president, he already showed four paintings that testified to the expression of his style, which was free of academic rigidity. In this year he leaves the academy and becomes co-founder of the "Neukunstgruppe". Throughout his life Egon Schiele was fortunate to have friends and patrons such as Gustav Klimt and Arthur Rössler. In 1910 Leopold Czihaczek relinquished his guardianship. From 1911 Wally Neuzil became his favourite model, and soon afterwards they lived together in the Bohemian town of Krumlov, where nude studies by young girls aroused the small-town spirits. Schiele moves to Neulengbach and is remanded in custody for 24 days on April 13, 1912, for allegedly seducing a minor. In addition, one of his paintings is publicly burned. The charge is dropped and converted into three days' imprisonment for the dissemination of immoral drawings. Moving to Vienna, he married Edith Harms in 1915 and was called up for military service in Prague but was transferred to the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum in Vienna in 1917. In March 1918, a large exhibition dedicated to Schiele and his artist friends at the Vienna Secession brought the first real artistic and material success.