"Naked men" Schiele - not self-portraits. Gay men posed for them?

The new study revealed that the images of naked guys created by Egon Schiele in 1910 and now known as the “Red Men” are not self-portraits, as was considered for a long time. Most likely, the artist's models were his gay friends. So says art critic Jane Callier - author of the complete works of the Austrian expressionist.According to Jane Callier, Schiele may have deliberately concealed the identity of these men, since homosexuality was a criminal offense at the beginning of the 20th century in Vienna. “The artist lived in a society where the concept of any homoerotic impulse was completely suppressed,” says the art historian. “Nobody could openly demonstrate this in any form, image or form.”

Left: Egon Schiele, "Sitting Nude" (1910). Private collection
Back in 2012, Callier came to the conclusion for the first time that not Schiele himself was the target of the “Red Men”. “Taking into account postures and positions from the back and from above, different degrees of bends and folds, he could not draw these works and pose for them at the same time,” she said, adding that the artist always wrote from life.
At that time, Schiele had two close friends - gay Max Oppenheimer and bisexual Erwin Osen. Callier is not sure about the exact nature of the artist's relationship with these men, although her research suggests that he had homosexual experience in the summer of 1910, when Schiele was 19 years old.

In an essay for exhibitions of Schiele in the New York Gallery of San Etienne and the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, Callier states that one or both of these people posed for the artist. Although the poses and gestures in the figures more indicate Osen, who studied pantomime. "It is clear that at that moment, when Schiele conducted the first experiments with expressionism, he was supported by close people," the art historian concludes.Lying nakedEgon Shile1910 “In his self-portraits he always shows his face. This is Schiele's personality research, she adds. “On the contrary, these works are personal studies of human sexuality.” Hiding the faces of the models, the artist defended them, since he didn’t just draw male muscles or anatomy. “By tradition, you depict a naked man if you are going to use a figure in another work, for example, a biblical story. But in the absence of such a practical function, what this NUnu tells about is a genre of art, which focuses on the aesthetics of the naked human body. The name of the genre - nude - short for the French word nudité - "nudity, nakedness". Read more? ”Asks Callir.

Egon Schiele, "Sitting Nude, Rear View" (1910). Private collection
Schiele's legacy has always bore the imprint of sexual disobedience - and indecency. In 1912, the artist was turned in the rape of minors. The suspicions were lifted after an investigation, but the police found that some nude drawings were seen by minors in the Schiele workshop. He was convicted of violating morality.
Callier herself found no signs of sexual contact between the painter and the girl. However, since judicial records have not been preserved, researchers have to rely on fragmentary information.

The discoveries of Callier are new evidence of Schile’s sexually progressive nature. “It’s very interesting to see how up-to-date Schiele is in terms of the flexibility of her approach to gender issues,” she says. “He is an eternal artist whom every generation rediscovers.” Arthiv: read us in Telegram and look in Instagram
Based on artnet News