Self Loathing In Egon Schiele's Work

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Fear and Self-Loathing in Egon Schiele 's Work
Egon Schiele was 20th century Austrian painter, known mostly for his erotic portraits of women and his tortured self-portraits, but he also did landscape painting and photography. It would be easy to assume that Egon Schiele was conceited and arrogant by looking at his self-portraits, because he would paint himself as a haloed visionary sent on earth to reveal the truth about sexuality (Izenberg 475) or draw erotic portraits of himself. It is, however, the opposite. Above all, Schiele 's work is marked by pain, often to the point of being pathetic (Resnik 120). This pain is rooted in the self-hatred that he feels because of his failure to live up to masculine ideals, and because of his problematic
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Schiele was actually full of self-loathing because of his perceived failure to live up to masculine ideals of independence, strength, and wholeness, instead he saw himself as very feminine, dependant and fragmented, as shown in his self-portraits where he represents himself as split in two (469). He also loathed himself because his father being a problematic father figure and then dying. Schiele identified with his father, but his father was a diseased man whose sexual disease destroyed his family and made him insane, and therefore Schiele had tortured feelings about his sexuality and his mental health. There were however a few things that eased his self-loathing, the first one being his wife Edith, that he painted in a luminous, billowing skirt, unlike how he usually painted women, and also his imminent fatherhood. Becoming a father himself means that he did not have to search for an idealized father figure, but that he could become his ideal self (Resnik 121). Tragically, he died three days after that his wife and his unborn child died of the Spanish flu, in

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