Monday, 21 December 2009

Egon Schiele and Cesky Krumlov

When it comes to local artists none is more famous than Egon Schiele. Schiele moved to his mother's hometown Cesky Krumlov in 1911 with his girlfriend and model Wally Neuzil. He had been visiting the town since his childhood and had been inspired by it to do some of his earliest work, including his earliest landscape - of the Budweiser gate. Although his life in the town came to an abrupt end in the face of the anger from the local burghers, who were shocked by his use of young girls as models, he returned to the town time and again for short stays to sketch the architecture, often from the hills above.

Now of course all is forgiven and Cesky Krumlov celebrates his work. The Egon Schiele Centrum is a major attraction - a large art gallery offering a small celebration of Schiele's life and work together with large visiting art exhibitions by different artists. The exhibitions vary in their interest, but it is always worth checking what is on at the Centrum if you are visiting Cesky Krumlov.


Philip Wilkinson said...

I can remember seeing some of Schiele's paintings of Cesky Krumlov reproduced in books long before I had any notion of where Krumlov was or what it was like. Things were not helped because the town was either not referred to in the paintings' titles or, if it was mentioned, was given in its German form, Krummau. When I did make the connection I was surprised that the paintings were not more colourful. They portray wonderfully the jumble of houses and roofs and the varied shapes and forms of the buildings, but sell the place short on colour. Perhaps the sepia palette, reminiscent sometimes of old photographs, reflected the artists' melancholy mood.

Hels said...

If Schiele liked Klimt’s decorative motifs at first, he seemed to move past them once he got out of Vienna. His little girls had exaggerated soulful eyes; his portraits of adults were gaunt and had messy hair. I don’t know if the artist was suffering from unfeeling modernity, but his portraits never looked happy. Or peaceful.

I suppose his city-scape was messy and unhappy as well.


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