Schiele's friends at the Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere

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Egon Schiele, like many of the figures he painted, was all elbows and knees. He lived only 28 years. Photographs show an intense, angular man. His works, characterized by an aggressive, linear energy, include portraits, landscapes and nude studies of overwhelming erotic power. „Die Tafelrunde -- Egon Schiele und sein Kreis” at Vienna's Belvedere Museum honors Schiele and his circle of friends. Early on, Schiele met Gustav Klimt, who strongly influenced him and whose works are well represented in this show. He soon attracted his own friends and followers and founded the Neukunstgruppe in 1909. With Schiele and Klimt, their works make up the bulk of the 120 paintings in the exhibition. The show is a great opportunity to see some early Schiele works, like the portrait of his sister, painted when he was 16. Or to compare works like Klimt's „Der Kuss” („The Kiss”) and Schiele's „Kardinal und Nonne” („Cardinal and Nun”), painted just four years later and showing a couple in an identical pose. The friends include composer and painter Arnold Schoenberg, Alfred Kubin, Anton Trcka, Max Oppenheimer and other members of the group, many of whom also painted portraits of Schiele. The exhibition runs through Sept. 24 at the Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere in the Lower Belvedere. (Bloomberg)

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