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Egon Schiele and Dystonia

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  • Klinikum Nürnberg - Paracelsus Medical University

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Egon Schiele was a leading Austrian Expressionist painter who, after the era of Gustav Klimt, strongly influenced the artistic scene in Vienna in the early 20th century. Schiele's depiction of his body in his self-portraits in a twisted, contorted, dystonia-like pose raised questions about the possibility of his suffering from dystonia. However, there are no grounds whatsoever for such a hypothesis. Schiele's conception of distorted, at times bizarre, body postures reflects a concourse of the Expressionist formal style of displaying extroverted emotions and psychic confl icts with the emerging perception of photographs of patients with movement disorders in Vienna's art scene and intellectual circles. There are reliable indications that Schiele knew the images of diseases published in the 'Iconographie Photographique de la Salpetriere' and the later 'Nouvelle Iconographie de la Salpetriere' including hysterical and dystonic postures. The brevity of Schiele's life adds to the popular fantasy of the outlaw who lived fast and died young. In fact, however, his drawings sold well to discerning collectors, and his exhibitions were a financial success, so the myth of Schiele as a sacrificial outcast does not tell the whole story. It may be speculated that the figuration of the pathological body in Schiele's self-portraiture was part of modernist strategizing.
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Bogousslavsky J, Hennerici MG, Bäzner H, Bassetti C (eds): Neurological Disorders in Famous
Artists – Part 3. Front Neurol Neurosci. Basel, Karger, 2010, vol 27, pp 46–60
Egon Schiele and Dystonia
Frank J. Erbguth
Department of Neurology, Nuremberg Municipal Academic Hospital, Nuremberg,
Germany
Abstract
Egon Schiele was a leading Austrian Expressionist painter who, after the era of Gustav
Klimt, strongly infl uenced the artistic scene in Vienna in the early 20th century. Schiele’s
depiction of his body in his self-portraits in a twisted, contorted, dystonia-like pose raised
questions about the possibility of his suffering from dystonia. However, there are no grounds
whatsoever for such a hypothesis. Schiele’s conception of distorted, at times bizarre, body
postures refl ects a concourse of the Expressionist formal style of displaying extroverted emo-
tions and psychic confl icts with the emerging perception of photographs of patients with
movement disorders in Vienna’s art scene and intellectual circles. There are reliable indica-
tions that Schiele knew the images of diseases published in the ‘Iconographie Photographique
de la Salpetriere’ and the later ‘Nouvelle Iconographie de la Salpetriere’ including hysterical
and dystonic postures. The brevity of Schiele’s life adds to the popular fantasy of the outlaw
who lived fast and died young. In fact, however, his drawings sold well to discerning collec-
tors, and his exhibitions were a fi nancial success, so the myth of Schiele as a sacrifi cial out-
cast does not tell the whole story. It may be speculated that the fi guration of the pathological
body in Schiele’s self-portraiture was part of modernist strategizing.
Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel
Egon Schiele (1890–1918) was a major fi gurative painter of the early 20th
century and is regarded together with Oskar Kokoschka as the leading represen-
tative of Austrian Expressionism. Schiele’s promising career was cut short by
his sudden death from the Spanish infl uenza at the age of 28. His complete oeu-
vre encompasses 245 paintings and about 2,000 drawings, gouaches and water-
colors. Schiele’s many self-portraits and some of his portraits show distorted
postures of various body parts evocative of dystonic movement disorders (fi g. 1,
2). Due to the fact that Schiele is also shown in a photograph from 1910 with his
head in a laterocollis-like position (fi g. 3), the question was raised as to whether
Schiele himself might have been suffering from dystonia – in particular from
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Egon Schiele and Dystonia 47
Fig. 1. Self-Portrait with Plaid Shirt.
Charcoal and covering color (1917). Card
from Welz Gallery Editors, Salzburg, with
kind permission.
Fig. 2. Portrait of the art critic Arthur Roessler. Oil on canvas (1910). ©Collection Wien
Museum, Vienna, with kind permission.
Erbguth 48
spasmodic torticollis [Goetz et al., 2001]. However, there are no conclusive bio-
graphical sources or indications from contemporary witnesses that would sup-
port such a hypothesis. Schiele’s dystonic body sculptures and his contorted
poses in photographs are to be interpreted rather as a gesture of Expressionist
body language [Comini, 1974; Natter und Trummer, 2006]. Though there are
interesting indications that Schiele, while not suffering from dystonia himself,
was inspired by the photographic images of neurological movement abnormali-
ties, such as hysterical, dystonic or disfi gured movements or postures displayed
in the journal ‘Iconographie Photographique de la Salpêtrière’ or in the suc-
ceeding publication ‘Nouvelle Iconographie de la Salpêtrière: Clinique des
Maladies du Systeme Nerveux’. The photographic documents of distorted and
dystonic bodies were circulated throughout Europe and were also seen by the
intellectual community in Vienna at the time of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic
concepts. From this point of view, the dystonic gestures of Schiele’s portraits
and self-portraits refl ects on the one hand a stylistic element of Expressionism
and, on the other hand, a medically infl uenced form of perception and exhibi-
Fig. 3. Photograph of Egon Schiele (left) and Anton Peschka (1910) by Erwin Osen.
Private collection.
Egon Schiele and Dystonia 49
tion of the human body which was en vogue in Vienna in the early 20th century
[Blackshaw, 2007].
Biographical Sketch
Egon Leo Adolf Schiele was born in the Austrian town of Tulln on the
River Danube on June 12, 1890, as the fourth child of the stationmaster Adolf
Eugen Schiele and his wife Marie. Schiele started his education at the pri-
mary school in Tulln, after which he attended the junior secondary school in
Krems and then the senior secondary school in Klosterneuburg, where his arts
teacher K.L. Strauch recognized and fostered Schiele’s artistic talent [Fischer,
1998]. When Schiele was 15 years old, his father died of syphilis, and he
became a ward of his maternal uncle, Leopold Czihaczec, who became dis-
tressed by Schiele’s lack of interest in academic studies, yet recognized his
passion and talent for art. In 1906 Schiele applied for admission to the School
of Arts and Crafts in Vienna, where Gustav Klimt had once studied. During
his fi rst year there, in 1906 at the age of 16, Schiele was sent, at the insis-
tence of several faculty members, to the more traditional Academy of Arts
in Vienna. Incidentally, Adolf Hitler was rejected by the Academy in 1907,
which has led to a misconception that Schiele and Hitler knew each other in
Vienna. Schiele, who studied painting and drawing, sought out Gustav Klimt
for support. Klimt generously mentored younger artists, and he took a par-
ticular interest in the gifted young Schiele, buying his drawings, offering to
exchange them for some of his own, arranging models for him and introduc-
ing him to potential patrons. Gustav Klimt introduced Schiele to the ‘Wiener
Werkstätte’, the arts and crafts workshop connected with the ‘Secession’. In
1908 Schiele had his fi rst exhibition in Klosterneuburg. Already during his
school education he had opposed authoritarian educational standards and bor-
ing content of teaching. His school achievements were less important to him
than his passion for drawing and painting. Schiele was frustrated by the rigid
and conservative academic attitude of his art professor Christian Griepenkerl
and left the Academy after only two years. Together with some of his fel-
low students he formed the Viennese ‘Neukunstgruppe’ (‘New Art Group’).
Schiele’s opinionated style displeased Griepenkerl to such an extent that he
taunted his student, saying ‘You have been shit into my class by the devil!’
[Nebehay, 1993; Schmidt, 1998].
Schiele achieved a fi rst success in 1909 with the exhibition of his works in
the ‘Great Vienna Art Exposition’, where he encountered the work of Edvard
Munch, Jan Toorop and Vincent van Gogh among others. Once free of the con-
straints of the Academy’s conventions, Schiele began to explore not only the
Erbguth 50
human form, but also human sexuality. At that time, many found the explicit-
ness of his works disturbing. Besides artists such as Gustav Klimt and Oskar
Kokoschka, Schiele was able to make a name for himself especially with the
art critic Arthur Roessler, who supported Schiele through his excellent con-
tacts to the Viennese art scene and played a crucial role in Schiele’s further
career. Through Roessler’s intervention Schiele got to know the art collectors
Carl Reininghaus and Dr. Oskar Reichel, who assured fi nancial means for his
entry into the Viennese art scene and art market and supplied him with numer-
ous commissions [Natter und Storch, 2004].
The essential turning point of Schiele’s career took place in 1910, when
the ‘enfant terrible’ of the Viennese art scene broke once and for all with the
elegant decorative painting of art nouveau (‘Jugendstil’) and increasingly used
the stylistic devices of Expressionism [Leopold, 2008; Nebehay, 1993].
In 1911, Schiele met the 17-year-old Valerie (Wally) Neuzil, who lived
with him in Vienna and sat as his model for some of his most striking paint-
ings. Very little is known of her, except that she had previously modeled
for Gustav Klimt and may have been one of his mistresses. Schiele and
Wally wanted to escape what they perceived as the claustrophobic Viennese
milieu and went to the small town of Krumau, the birthplace of Schiele’s
mother. Despite Schiele’s family connections in Krumau, he and his lover
were driven out of the town by the residents who strongly disapproved of
their lifestyle, including his alleged employment of the town’s teenage girls
as models. Together with Wally, Schiele moved to Neulengbach, 35 km west
of Vienna, to fi nd new inspirational surroundings and an inexpensive stu-
dio. As it had been in Vienna, Schiele’s painting studio became a gathering
place for Neulengbach’s delinquent children. Schiele’s way of life aroused
much animosity among the town’s inhabitants, and in April 1912 he was
arrested for seducing a young girl below the age of consent. At his studio,
the police confi scated more than a hundred drawings which they considered
pornographic. Schiele was imprisoned while awaiting his trial. The judge
dropped the charges of seduction and abduction, but found Schiele guilty
of exhibiting erotic drawings in a place accessible to children. In court, the
judge burned one of the offending drawings over a candle fl ame. The 21
days Schiele had already spent in custody were taken into account, and he
was sentenced to only 3 days imprisonment. While in prison, Schiele created
a series of 12 paintings depicting the diffi culties and discomfort of being
locked in a jail cell [Kuhl, 2006; Steiner, 1999].
In 1912, Schiele returned to Vienna and was able to reestablish himself,
supported by his patron and fatherly friend Gustav Klimt. Schiele also wrote
some literary contributions: in 1914 some of his poems were published in the
weekly journal ‘Die Fackel’ (‘The Torch’) and until 1916 he contributed vari-
Egon Schiele and Dystonia 51
ous theoretical and literary texts to the journal ‘Die Aktion’ (‘The Action’) in
Berlin. In 1913, the Hans Goltz Gallery, Munich, mounted Schiele’s fi rst solo
exhibition. Another solo show of his work took place in Paris in 1914 [Kallir,
1998, 2003; Nebehay, 1993].
In 1914, Schiele fi rst glimpsed the sisters Edith and Adéle Harms, whose
Protestant middle-class family lived across the street from his studio in the
Viennese suburb of Hietzing. In 1915, Schiele chose to marry Edith, but had
apparently expected to maintain his relationship with Wally Neuzil. However,
Wally left him immediately and never saw him again. Three days after his wed-
ding on June 17, 1915, Schiele was ordered to report for service in the army.
There, Schiele was treated well by offi cers who respected his artistic talent. He
was never involved in any fi ghting at the front and therefore was able to con-
tinue painting and sketching while carrying out light guard duties [Artinger,
2001].
Schiele was invited to participate in the 49th exhibition of the Viennese
‘Secession’ in 1918. Fifty works had been accepted for this exhibition and
were displayed in the main hall. Schiele’s poster for the exhibition was remi-
niscent of the Last Supper, with a portrait of himself in the place of Christ. The
show was a triumphant success and, as a result, prices for Schiele’s drawings
increased.
After the death of Gustav Klimt in 1918, Egon Schiele meanwhile had
ascended to the position of the leading exponent of the Expressionist avant-
garde of Vienna. Unfortunately, the year of the end of World War I was also the
year of Schiele’s death. In 1918 the Spanish infl uenza pandemic, which claimed
20 million lives in Europe, reached Vienna. On October 19, 1918, Schiele’s
wife Edith, who was 6 months pregnant, fell ill with the fl u and succumbed to
the disease on October 28. Schiele died only 3 days after his wife on the day
when she was buried. He was 28 years old. During the 3 days between their
deaths, Schiele drew a few sketches of Edith on her sickbed; these were his last
works [Schröder, 1997].
Schiele’s Works
Schiele’s work is famous worldwide and noted for the many portraits of
others as well as himself and nude drawings. He also painted tributes to Van
Gogh’s Sunfl owers as well as landscapes and still lives. The twisted, grotesque
body shapes of his self-portraits, the erotic aura of his nude paintings and
the expressive lines that characterize Schiele’s paintings and drawings mark
the artist as an early exponent of Expressionism, although at the beginning
of his career he was still strongly associated with the art nouveau movement
Erbguth 52
(‘Jugendstil’) [Müller-Tamm, 1995]. The largest and most important collec-
tion of Schiele’s work is housed in the Leopold Museum in Vienna. Schiele’s
bizarre, dystonia-like compositions of the human body allow two possible
interpretations and explanations. The fi rst is that Schiele utilized dystonic
movements and postures as stylistic elements of Expressionism without any
allusion to the really existing movement disorders and a medical context of
pathological disfi gurement. The second is that Schiele’s style represents a stra-
tegic and astute awareness of the taste of the art market [Blackshaw, 2007].
This taste was infl uenced by the fascinating and esoteric medical photographs
of the ‘Iconographie’ journals of the hospital for mental diseases in Paris, La
Salpêtrire [Didi-Huberman, 1997].
Dystonic Postures as a Stylistic Element of Expressionism
The model Schiele mostly used was himself. The painter does not empha-
size outward conditions of physical existence, but works on penetrating into
his being. Schiele, as compared to his contemporaries, breaks with tradition
most radically as far as esthetic appearance is concerned and prefers artis-
tic fi nding of the truth in an expressionistic, fi gurative sense. In his drawings
and paintings he used all the possibilities of facial and physical expression
to the point of bizarre postures and distortions. But also in photography, he
works with an expressionistic gesture and arranges extraordinary body poses
and movements. For example, in a photograph from 1910 showing Schiele
together with his friend Anton Peschka, he poses with his head in a position
as it is known in dystonic laterocollis. This photo was the origin for specula-
tions that Schiele could have suffered from cervical dystonia. However, there
are no sources, indications or reports from himself or from contemporary wit-
nesses to support the theory that the artist suffered from dystonic disease. The
small excerpt of some of his portraits is part of its quality of meaning; often
the head is cut off shortly above the forehead. The subjects painted – mostly
Schiele himself – communicate with the observer: On the one hand, a relation-
ship between the observer and the artist is established with the help of the
latter’s eye contact; on the other hand, communication is often interrupted by
a dystonia-like grimace or rejecting gesture. Schiele’s self-portraits are inter-
preted as not resulting from contemplating his own soul, but as stemming from
turning his immediate feelings outward in an active, often exaggerated way
and thus demonstrating various possibilities of self-perception [Fischer, 1998].
Thus, Schiele’s understanding of physical expression resembles to some extent
Sigmund Freud’s concept of ‘conversion’, which the Viennese neurologist
and later psychoanalyst developed during his research stay with the famous
Egon Schiele and Dystonia 53
French neurologist Jean Martin Charcot in Paris in 1885 [Blackshaw, 2007;
Didi-Huberman, 1997]. Freud interpreted the bizarre body postures and move-
ments of hysteria as expressions of internal psychic confl icts which are turned
outward (fi g. 4).
From the traditional viewpoint of interpreting Schiele’s work, he utilizes
the expressiveness of the human body by using gestures and dystonic deforma-
tions as a simile. The position and motion of the hands in an expressive, unreal
gesture are interpreted to be a symbol of communication at a standstill. By
means of habitual distortions the subject of the self-portrait becomes a stranger
to the painter, and so he even sees himself as someone else would see him.
Therefore Schiele plays with different roles and puts on masks, such as monk,
prophet or saint [Fischer, 1998; Nebehay, 1993].
Even the last photo of Schiele on his deathbed shows him in an arranged,
unusual posture with his arms and hands twisted: his left behind his head and
his right across his chest (fi g. 5).
ab
Fig. 4. Photographs from the ‘Iconographie photographique de La Salpêtrière’.
a ‘Augustine’, Planche XIII [Bourneville and Régnard, 1879]. b ‘Josephine Delet’, Planche
III [Bourneville and Régnard, 1878]. Photographs kindly provided by the Bibliotheque
Charcot, UPMC – Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, Paris.
Erbguth 54
The Neurologically Diseased Body as Source and Inspiration for
Schiele’s ‘Dystonic’ Figuration
The interpretation explaining Schiele’s body distortion exclusively as an
expression of a traumatized individual who used the self-portrait as a means of
articulating emotions in an expressionistic manner might negate the infl uence
of the cultural context in Vienna at the turn of the century. Other interpreta-
tions argue that Schiele’s turn to this particular genre, style and esthetics at
that particular moment was a strategic move, showing his astute awareness of
market taste and dynamics. Gemma Blackshaw [2007] suggests that Schiele’s
body interpretation was not primarily an ‘inward-looking’ art practice, but
rather a practice that was geared specifi cally towards a commercial local art
market. The questions as to what made this kind of self-portrait or portrait so
marketable and where the new gesture of the body came from are answered by
Blackshaw with the reference to a common iconography of Schiele’s painted
bodies and the photographs of patients suffering from diseases of the nervous
system, published in Paris-based neuropathology journals which circulated in
Fig. 5. Photograph of Schiele on his deathbed. Photograph by Martha Fein (1918).
©Albertina collection, Vienna, with kind permission.
Egon Schiele and Dystonia 55
Vienna. The journals provided Schiele with a new vocabulary of the body
which could be used powerfully to underscore – in a truly modernist fashion
– his ‘suffering’ and therefore his ‘genius’. Cultivation of such an identity
was crucial amongst a group of patrons tired of the artist-collective ideology
of Secession culture and keen to promote young men representing the ‘new
blood’ – for which there were many contenders. The fact that Schiele’s peers
and competitors, such as Oskar Kokoschka and Max Oppenheimer, made simi-
lar use of this iconography of the body, speedily working it into their own por-
trait portfolios, shows how aware this group of young men were of its appeal
to their patrons.
Klaus Albrecht Schröder [1997] pointed to photographic journals popu-
larizing nervous disorder as possible sources for Schiele’s self-representation,
concentrating on the striking iconographic parallels. Schröder took his exam-
ples from the ‘Iconographie Photographique de la Salpêtrière’ journal, which
was produced in three volumes from 1876 to 1880 under the direction of
Jean-Martin Charcot at the Paris hospital for diseases of the nervous system,
La Salpêtrière, and circulated widely throughout Europe. The journal concen-
trated on the various manifestations of hysteria – a condition deemed more
common in women than in men – which was typifi ed by bizarre body pos-
tures, hallucinations and a susceptibility to hypnosis. The allure of the journal
lay in its photographic documentation of the female body when released – via
hypnosis, the inhalation of vapors or the pressing of hystereogenic zones of
the body – from its civilizing bonds of bourgeois behavior. Photographs sen-
sationally captured female patients in the midst of attacks, convulsing in their
hospital beds. The violence of the attacks recorded, the voyeuristic appeal of
watching the body as it moved through hysterical sequences or ‘attitudes pas-
sionnelles’, and the bewildering array of patient responses (such as limb con-
tracture or reenactments of the crucifi xion) made the image of the hysteric
a popular one [Didi-Huberman, 1997]. The popularity of the ‘Iconographie
Photographique’ is underlined by the fact that the Salpêtrière team produced
a succeeding journal between 1888 and 1918 under the new title ‘Nouvelle
Iconographie de la Salpêtrière: Clinique des Maladies du Système Nerveux’.
This later journal – separated from its predecessor by a period of 8 years –
moved the focus away from hysteria to neurological disease as signaled in
both the male and female body. Photographs of fi brous skin growths and
spinal deformity, conditions that were included under the umbrella of neuro-
pathology, are perhaps not – initially – as interesting as the dramatic gender-
ing and eroticizing of hysteria we see performed in the fi rst journal editions.
The ‘Nouvelle Iconographie’ journal displayed photographs of predomi-
nantly male patients in a canon of the physical extremes of the body in pain.
Blackshaw [2007] refers to obvious similarities between a series of medical
Erbguth 56
photographs entitled ‘Macrodactylie’, in which close-up shots of the fronts
and backs of disfi gured hands are displayed, and the confi guration of hand
positions in Schiele’s paintings and photographic self-portraits [Bégouin and
Sabrazés 1901; Blackshaw, 2007; Lejars 1903] (fi g. 6–8), Klaus-Albrecht
Schröder [1997] characterizes the role of the French photographic medical
journals for Egon Schiele as ‘a quarry of motives which do not symbolize
rationality, arrangement and control, but expressiveness and authenticity of
the psyche and of the emotions’.
The discussion of new medical and psychological aspects of neurological
and psychiatric diseases was considered to be a matter of public interest, with
Vienna’s new psychiatric spaces being opened up to the view of the ‘outside
world’. For example, an exhibition on the care of the insane was opened to mark
the Emperor Franz Josef I’s Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1898, which polar-
ized the traditional approach to psychiatric treatment (using objects such as
shackled wax fi gures) with the contemporary (represented by models of newly
built observation wards). The patient’s body became – in many ways – a pub-
lic body, to be reassuringly displayed to audiences. Artistic interventions from
Vienna’s modernist circles in the care and cure of psychiatric patients were
well rehearsed by individuals working in the same circles as Schiele before
ab
Fig. 6. Photographs of Egon Schiele by Anton Josef Trcka (1914). ©Albertina collec-
tion, Vienna, with kind permission.
Egon Schiele and Dystonia 57
Fig. 7. Photograph of a case of macrodactyly in the ‘Nouvelle Iconographie de La
Salpêtrière’, table XVI, Planche VIII [Lejars, 1903]. Photograph kindly provided by the
Bibliotheque Charcot, UPMC – Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière,
Paris.
Fig. 8. Self-Portrait with Black Vase. Oil on wood (1911). ©Collection Wien Museum,
Vienna, with kind permission.
Erbguth 58
he turned to an iconography of pathology in 1910. Schiele also had access to
images of the pathological body.
Schiele’s friend, the pathological anatomist and gynecologist Dr Erwin
von Graff, gave him permission to draw the patients at the gynecological
university hospital in 1910. The university hospital championed the path-
ological anatomy approach to psychiatry and held the complete edition of
the ‘Nouvelle Iconographie’. In exactly the same year, Schiele embraced
the image of the diseased body. It therefore can be hypothesized that he
translated the new iconography to which he had access at the University
into his self-portrait practice. Another friend of Schiele’s, the theater painter
and mime artist Erwin Dominik Osen, who called himself ‘Mime van’ Osen
(1891–1970), wrote a letter to him in 1913 in which he states: ‘I still have
to fi nish a portrait in Vienna and a few drawings at Steinhof (= Psychiatric
Hospital) for the “Science Day” where Dr. Kronfeld will be speaking on
pathological expression in portraiture. ... I am already simulating all diseases
so that I may get away sooner’. This text is proof of Schiele’s exposure to
ideas on the representation of pathology in portraiture. Not only was Schiele
working closely with Osen as an artist who was drawing patients, he was also
meeting a doctor whose interest lay in pathological expression [Blackshaw,
2007].
Without doubt, there are iconographic links between Schiele’s self-por-
traits and the photographs of patients with abnormal body postures and dis-
eased gestures. According to Blackshaw’s hypothesis, Schiele’s consultation of
the photographs – readily available in Vienna’s medical and public libraries –
was a canny move by an artist who was aware of current debate in Vienna about
neuropathology and the debilitating effects of modern life on the body, as well
as the inadequacy of Secessionist style of art to represent this body. Schiele was
certainly helped in this endeavor, and one should not underestimate the role
of physician friends working in pathological anatomy, critics such as Roessler
who championed the skin-peeling techniques of the new ‘Young Viennese
Painters’, and patrons such as Reininghaus who purchased the self-portrait that
rst presented the stylistic maneuver to a modern, avant-garde expression of
the human body. Blackshaw speculates that the iconography of pathology was
proffered and fostered not mainly by the artist, but by his market. She considers
Schiele’s way of painting bodies as a collaborative effort, with Schiele present-
ing his body as a pathological and pitiful site for male spectators who could – in
looking, buying, exchanging and identifying – promote the artist as the ‘preco-
ciously diseased’ young Vienna.
Egon Schiele and Dystonia 59
Schiele’s Life and Work in Literature and Film
Schiele’s life and work have been the subject of contributions in litera-
ture and fi lm. Mario Vargas Llosa uses the work of Schiele as a conduit to
seduce and morally exploit the main character Alfonso (‘Fonchito’) in his
1997 novel ‘The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto’ [Llosa, 1997]. Schiele has also
been the subject of a 1980 German biographical fi lm, ‘Egon Schiele: Excess
& Punishment’, directed by Herbert Vesely with Mathieu Carriere as Egon
Schiele, Jane Birkin as his early artistic muse, and Christine Kaufman as his
wife. There is also a fi lm ‘Klimt’ from 2006 directed by Raoul Ruiz with
John Malkovich as Gustav Klimt in which Egon Schiele (acted by Nikolai
Kinski) plays an important role. Jamie Tanner [2002] dedicated his comic
‘The perpetual child’ to the biography of Egon Schiele. In 1995, Stephan
Mazurek presented a theatrical dance production called ‘Egon Schiele’, for
which Rachel’s, an American post-rock group, composed a score titled ‘Music
for Egon Schiele’.
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etanner.com
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... Dayısının vesayeti altına giren Schiele, sanata olan tutkunluğu nedeniyle bir zamanlar Klimt'in okumuş olduğu Viyana'daki sanat okuluna 1906 yılında başvurdu ve burada eğitime başladı. Sanat eğitimine devam eden Schiele, Gustave Klimt'den yardım istedi ve Klimt bu genç sanatçıyı geri çevirmeyerek destekledi (Erbguth, 2010). Schiele, Klimt'le tanıştığı ilk dönemler ve ölümüne kadar geçen süreçte hep onu örnek aldı. ...
... Schiele'nin gelecek vaat eden kariyeri, 28 yaşında İspanyol gribinden ani bir şekilde ölmesiyle yarıda kesilmiştir. Tüm eseri, 245 tablo ve yaklaşık 2.000 çizim, guaj ve sulu boyadan oluşmaktadır (Erbguth, 2010). Avusturya'nın en önemli sanatçılarından birisi olan Egon Schiele'nin eserleri, birçok ekspresyonist ressam ve grafik sanatçısının yanında, dansçı ve teatral sahne çalışmalarının içeriğini de etkilemiştir (Reznikova, Sitnikova, & Zamaraeva, 2019). ...
... There are quite a few academic publications devoted to E. Schiele's creative work, and among the existing ones there is a significant amount of those where his works are considered as evidence of deviations in the artist's mental health, and he is considered as the "psychotic artist" (Resnik, 2000;Izenberg, 2006;Blackshaw, 2007;Erbguth, 2010;Buckley, 2012;Kharseyeva, Godal, 2017). K. A. Smith analyzes the Austrian artist's works in terms of reflecting Kant's, Nietzsche's, as well as expressionism ideas in them (Smith, 2000). ...
... The self-portraits by E. Schiele (Knafo, 1991;Izenberg, 2006;Blackshaw, 2007;de Oliveira, 2012), as well as portraits of young people (Borowitz, 1974;Erbguth, 2010) are of the greatest interest as a material for analysis. K. A. Smith and G. Barker actualize the theme of landscape that is quite rare in E. Schiele's creative work (Smith, 2000;Barker, 2003). ...
Article
Full-text available
Egon Schiele (1890–1918) is one of the most significant representatives of Austrian expressionism, whose works influenced not only numerous painters and graphic artists, but dancers and theatrical stage employees as well. However, few academic publications are devoted to E. Schiele’s creative work, and among the existing ones, there is a significant proportion of those where his paintings are considered as the evidence of deviations in the painter’s mental health. The main method used in the present work is the philosophical and art studies analysis, appealing to the universal meanings of works of art. Three paintings: Self-Portrait with Black Vase (1911), The Holy Family (1913) and Death and the Maiden (1915), which can be combined into one series demonstrating the genesis of Egon Schiele’s ideas about art in general and about his creative work in particular, are the material for this study
... Recently, two Italian neurologists found a red-chalk drawing from the Renaissance painter da Lodi, called A man with eyes shut tight, which is more convincingly probably the first artistic description of cranial-cervical dystonia [6]. We believe that the bust Le Hargneux is the second undisputable artistic representation of a dramatic cranial-cervical dystonia, far before the twisted and mannered postures observed on Egon Schiele's paintings, which raise the unsolved question of his dystonia [7]. ...
Article
The authors describe a sculpture from Daumier, called “Le Hargneux” (The peevish one), whose physiognomic study evokes hitherto unrecognized cranial-cervical dystonia. It is probably the first representation of dystonia in sculpture, before its scientific identification by Horatio Wood, in 1887.
... Egon Schiele (1890-1918), it has been suggested, used dystonia-like attitudes as a stylistic element of expressionism, having also been influenced by Freud's ideas about outward projection of psychic conflicts. 63 Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) often evoked sensuousness in portraiture with elongation, curvature, and torsion of upper body parts that resembles dystonia. This is particularly noticeable in paintings of Jeanne H ebuterne, his common-law wife. ...
Article
Full-text available
Before 1911, when Hermann Oppenheim introduced the term dystonia, this movement disorder lacked a unifying descriptor. While words like epilepsy, apoplexy and palsy have had their meanings since antiquity, references to dystonia are much harder to identify in historical documents. Torticollis is an exception, though there is difficulty distinguishing dystonic torticollis from congenital muscular torticollis. There are, nevertheless, possible representations of dystonia in literature and visual art from the pre-modern world. Eighteenth century systematic nosologists such as Linnaeus, de Sauvages and Cullen had attempted to classify some spasmodic conditions, including torticollis. But only after Charcot's contributions to clinical neuroscience were the various forms of generalized and focal dystonia clearly delineated. They were categorized as névroses, Charcot's term for conditions without an identifiable neuroanatomical cause. For a time thereafter, psychoanalytic models of dystonia based on Freud's ideas about unconscious conflicts transduced into physical symptoms were ascendant, though there was always a dissenting ‘organic’ school. With the rise of sub-specialization in movement disorders during the 1970s, the pendulum swung strongly back towards organic causation. David Marsden's clinical and electrophysiological research on the adult onset focal dystonias was particularly important in establishing a physical basis for these disorders. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... Recently, two Italian neurologists found a red-chalk drawing from the Renaissance painter da Lodi, called A man with eyes shut tight, which is more convincingly probably the first artistic description of cranial-cervical dystonia [6]. We believe that the bust Le Hargneux is the second undisputable artistic representation of a dramatic cranial-cervical dystonia, far before the twisted and mannered postures observed on Egon Schiele's paintings, which raise the unsolved question of his dystonia [7]. ...
Article
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by extracellular Abeta peptide deposition originating from amyloid precursor protein cleavage and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles resulting from pathological tau protein aggregation. These processes are accompanied by dramatic neuronal losses, further leading to different cognitive impairments. Neuronal death signalings involve gene expression modifications that rely on transcription factor alterations. Herein, we investigated the fate of the Sp family of transcription factors in postmortem brains from patients with AD disease and in different contexts of neuronal death. By immunohistochemistry we found that the Sp3 and Sp4 levels were dramatically increased and associated with neurofibrillary tangles and pathological tau presence in neurons from the CA1 region of the hippocampus, as well as the entorhinal cortex of AD patient brains. The Sp transcription factor expression levels were further analyzed in cortical neurons in which death is induced by amyloid precursor protein signaling targeting. While the Sp1 levels remained constant, the Sp4 levels were slightly upregulated in response to the death signal. The Sp3 isoforms were rather degraded. Interestingly, when overexpressed by transfection experiments, the three Sp family members induced neuronal apoptosis, Sp3 and Sp4 being the most potent proapoptotic factors over Sp1. Our data evidence Sp3 and Sp4 as new hallmarks of AD in postmortem human brains and further point out that Sp proteins are potential triggers of neuronal death signaling cascades.
... Recently, two Italian neurologists found a red-chalk drawing from the Renaissance painter da Lodi, called A man with eyes shut tight, which is more convincingly probably the first artistic description of cranial-cervical dystonia [6]. We believe that the bust Le Hargneux is the second undisputable artistic representation of a dramatic cranial-cervical dystonia, far before the twisted and mannered postures observed on Egon Schiele's paintings, which raise the unsolved question of his dystonia [7]. ...
Article
Voltage-gated potassium channels (VGKCs) antibodies are associated with neuromyotonia, limbic encephalitis and Morvan syndrome. We report the case of a patient who, after three weeks of fever, presented an anamnestic syndrome, associated with confusion and partial seizures. MRI showed left hyperintensity of mesial temporal structures on Flair images and right hippocampal atrophy on T1 weighted sequences. Laboratory tests only showed high level of anti-TPO antibodies. Thus, the patient was considered as having Hashimoto's encephalopathy. She was treated with intravenous methylprednisolone with no improvement of symptoms. On the contrary, the patient suffered from insomnia, deep diurnal drowsiness and complete disappearance of REM sleep. Episodes of hypothermia and severe hyponatremia were recorded. Serum VGKC antibodies were found at high level. After intravenous immunoglobulin treatment followed by methylprednisolone, we noted remarkable improvement of clinical status. Polysomnography showed reappearence of REM sleep. This case report broadens the spectrum of clinical manifestations associated with VGKC antibodies and suggests that VGKC are implicated in regulation of sleep. The potential pathophysiological mechanisms linking sleep disturbances and VGKC antibodies are discussed.
... Recently, two Italian neurologists found a red-chalk drawing from the Renaissance painter da Lodi, called A man with eyes shut tight, which is more convincingly probably the first artistic description of cranial-cervical dystonia [6]. We believe that the bust Le Hargneux is the second undisputable artistic representation of a dramatic cranial-cervical dystonia, far before the twisted and mannered postures observed on Egon Schiele's paintings, which raise the unsolved question of his dystonia [7]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Cerebral calcifications are a cause of secondary dystonia and may be an uncommon complication of radiotherapy. We report a very severe case of generalized dystonia due to postradiotherapy basal ganglia calcifications. An 8-year-old girl received 53 grays radiotherapy after surgery for craniopharyngioma. One year later she developed generalized dystonia. Computed tomography showed bilateral basal ganglia calcifications, especially of the lenticular nuclei. Pharmacological treatment with tetrabenazine, clonazepam and trihexiphenydile allowed a very limited improvement of dystonia; the course was complicated by dystonic storms and decompensations resulting from the iatrogenous panhypopituitarism. This case illustrates a severe complication of cranial irradiation which should be considered in the indications of this treatment, especially for children.
Article
Full-text available
Diskussion om tanken om döden bakom Egon Schieles poesi och självporträtt.
Article
Full-text available
Cambridge Core - Neurology and Clinical Neuroscience - Treatment of Dystonia - edited by Dirk Dressler
Article
In 1910 the twenty-year-old Egon Schiele proclaimed his artistic independence by embarking upon a project of self-portraiture which championed a new aesthetic of the pathological body. Art historians have been reluctant to locate this aesthetic within the cultural context of Vienna 1900, and the canny strategising of its competitive artists, preferring to interpret Schieles self-representation as an inward-looking, self-referencing art practice. This article explores an alternative reading, which links Schieles iconography to the interest in pathological anatomy in Viennas psychiatric community, and specifically the impact of Jean-Martin Charcots somewhat neglected photographic journal Nouvelle Iconographie de la Salpetriere (18881918), which provided the citys doctors and artists with a new visual resource for the image of the body-in-pain. The article brings new visual material and documents to light, which firmly connect Schiele to individuals working inside the psychiatric space. This enables us to move beyond the mere noting of iconographic parallels between his work and photographs of psychiatric patients, to an analysis of the cultural relevance of the pathological body in Vienna 1900. It is argued that Schieles turn to the pathological body was an astute means of departing from Secessionstil idioms, attracting patrons and disseminating a notion of the new modern artist as brilliantly diseased.
Nouvelle iconographie de la
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Lejars F: Un fait de macrodactylie. Nouvelle iconographie de la Salpêtrière Paris 1903;1:37–40
Schiele & Roessler Der Künstler und sein Förderer. Kunst und Networking im frühen 20
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Natter TG, Storch U (eds): Schiele & Roessler. Der Künstler und sein Förderer. Kunst und Networking im frühen 20. Jahrhundert. Ostfi ldern-Ruit, Hatje Cantz, 2004
History of dystonia. Part 4
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Goetz C, Chmura TA, Lanska DJ: History of dystonia. Part 4. Mov Disord 2001;16:339–345
Observation III in: Iconographie Photographique de La Salpetriere
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Bourneville DM, Régnard P: Observation III in: Iconographie Photographique de La Salpetriere. 1878;2:22–30.
The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto
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Llosa MV: The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto. New York, Penguin Books, 1997.
Die Tafelrunde. Egon Schiele und sein Kreis. Meisterwerke des österreichischen Frühexpressionismus
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  • T Trummer
Natter TG, Trummer T: Die Tafelrunde. Egon Schiele und sein Kreis. Meisterwerke des österreichischen Frühexpressionismus. Cologne, DuMont, 2006.
Die Mitternachtsseele eines Künstlers
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Steiner R: Schiele. Die Mitternachtsseele eines Künstlers, Cologne, Taschen, 1999.