”The Viennese Pornographer” is the moniker sometimes attributed to the great Austrian artist Egon Schiele. People were shocked by his candid sketches depicting the female essence. In this article, we delve into Schiele's life and inspiration and explore how his style works in Midjourney.
Egon Schiele (1890–1918) was born in Austria into a family with a railroad worker father. As a child, Schiele's fascination with trains led him to draw them extensively, despite his father's disapproval. After his father's death, Schiele moved to Vienna, pursued an education in art, and at 15, met Gustav Klimt, who became a significant mentor. Initially influenced by Klimt and Kokoschka, Schiele soon developed his own distinctive style.
From a young age, Schiele led a turbulent life, often involving women, including his younger sister. His models were frequently prostitutes and mistresses, reflecting his intense focus on the female form. This focus, combined with his passionate drawing style, resulted in unique, emotionally charged portraits, often featuring nudity. In 1912, Schiele's art led to his arrest on charges of public immorality and distributing obscene drawings, resulting in a 24-day prison sentence and the confiscation of many of his works.
In the same year, Schiele painted “Portrait of Wally Neuzil,” a significant work featuring his muse and lover, who had previously worked with Gustav Klimt. Despite societal disapproval, Schiele and Neuzil had a passionate relationship.
However, in 1915, Schiele married Edith Harms, a woman from a well-off family. Although Edith was not a muse like Neuzil, she remained Schiele's wife until their tragic deaths from the Spanish flu in 1918. Schiele's last drawing, "Edith Schiele on Her Deathbed," poignantly depicts her suffering.
Egon passed away just three days after Edith's death.
Schiele's art is characterized by unusual poses, sharp-edged shapes, and a lack of smooth curves. His subjects often appear confined, with body parts extending beyond the canvas. Despite typically using muted colors, his works often contain a lively, eye-catching element, whether in clothing, interiors, or hairstyles. Midjourney is adept at capturing Schiele’s distinctive style, including figurative distortions like elongation and deformation, as well as his unique approach to line and emotion. Incorporating Schiele’s name into a prompt can return images with intense emotional quality.
The versatility of Schiele’s style within Midjourney stretches well beyond his usual subjects, encompassing a broad range of themes: from fashion and zoological illustration to poster art, graphic design, and even modern sci-fi characters.
When combined with other styles, the influence of Schiele's name ensures that the resulting images retain his signature fine lines, lending an air of elegance and subtlety to the picture. The color palette often shifts to more subdued, pastel tones.
Some may argue that AI cannot convey emotions, but Egon Schiele’s style challenges this notion. His Midjourney representation is deeply expressive and powerful. Schiele’s life was brief yet impactful, resembling a meteoric blaze across the sky. It’s remarkable that through Midjourney, we can continue to reimagine the works of such a talented artist.
Until next week,
— Maria, Midlibrary Experimentalist
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All samples are produced by Midlibrary team using Midjourney AI (if not stated otherwise). Naturally, they are not representative of real artists' works/real-world prototypes.
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