Klimt & Schiele. Eros e Psiche
1918. As the roar of the First World War cannons was dying out, at the heart of Central Europe, in Vienna, a golden age was coming to an end. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was beginning to disintegrate. On the night of October 31st, Egon Schiele died, at home in his own bed, becoming one of the 20 million deaths caused by Spanish flu. He died looking the invisible disease in the face, the only way he could: by painting it. He was 28 years old. Only a few months earlier, the main hall of the Secession building had welcomed his works: 19 oil paintings and 29 drawings. This was his first successful exhibition, a celebration of a new painting idea that portrayed human anxieties and desires.
A few months earlier, his teacher and friend Gustav Klimt had died. Since the turn of the century, he had fundamentally changed the way people felt about art and founded a new group: The Secession. Today Klimt masterpieces attract visitors from all over the world to Vienna or the New Gallery in New York, or they become stars in films like Woman in Gold. But they are also pop icons that accompany our everyday lives on posters, cards, and calendars.