Edith Harms and Egon Schiele
“Bodies have their own light which they consume to live: they burn, they are not lit from the outside.” – Egon Schiele
A young girl of a proper family. Herr Papa, a Meister Locksmith, Frau Mama a Meister Hawkeye.
But the curious artist across the street with his parade of models who bare themselves for his brush, will not be deterred.
The perfect wife. Standing. Financial Means. A young artist of 25 deserves no less.
A rendezvous is out of the question. But perhaps with Wally…
His model. His muse. His soulmate. His matchmaker.
While Adele and Edith cloak themselves in layers of social acceptability and tradition, he scours the lanes of Park Schönbrunn for Wallys willing to bare all for his brush.
The lines blur.
“I’m planning to marry – most advantageously – perhaps not Wally.”
Perhaps Adele. Or Edith.
Wife. Not model. Wife. Not Muse.
A proper lady. A proper life. A proper wife.
The muse must go.
The artist must fight.
The muse must die.
The artist must paint.
Three years of marriage and a third is on the way.
The wife, the unborn child must die. Three days later, he too.
Exhibition: “Wally Neuzil and Her Life with Egon Schiele” – February 2 – June 1, 2015, Leopold Museum: http://www.leopoldmuseum.org/en – with info on Edith Harms.
If you speak German, I highly recommend the Sunday tours at 3 pm. My guide this past Sunday was an expert on Turn of the Century Vienna, gave lots of fascinating details and background info. The tours are free if you have an entrance ticket. Just tell the information desk next to the ticket counter you’d like to go along.
Also, there is an Audio Guide available (in English and German) and a book about Wally and Schiele (in German).
More on Egon Schiele on artsy.net site