Austrian painter and draughtsman. Schiele had a disturbed adolescence which has certain affinities with that of Munch and which similarly seems to have disposed him towards angst-ridden and sexually charged imagery: when he was 15 his father died mad, he disliked his mother, and he had a strange, possibly incestuous, relationship with his younger sister (who often posed nude for him). He studied at the Vienna Academy, 1906–9, and in 1907 he met Klimt, who encouraged him and was a strong influence on his early Art Nouveau style. By 1909, however, he had begun to develop his own highly distinctive style, which is characterized by an aggressive linear energy expressing acute nervous intensity. He painted portraits, landscapes, and semi-allegorical works, but he is best known for his drawings of nudes, which have a disturbing and explicit erotic power—in 1912 he was imprisoned for almost a month on indecency charges (he was found guilty of displaying lewd material where it was accessible to children and one of his drawings was publicly burned). The figures he portrays are typically lonely or anguished, their bodies emaciated and twisted, expressing an aching intensity of feeling (many examples are in the Albertina, Vienna, which has the best collection of his work). There are numerous self-portraits in this vein and the image they project of a tortured outcast is to a large extent misleading, for he had an attractive wife and enjoyed considerable success in his short career. He also had a fairly easy time during the First World War, for although he was called up into the Austrian army, he was never in the firing line and was able to continue painting and drawing. His work was much exhibited, and he was beginning to receive international acclaim when he died (three days after his wife) in the influenza epidemic of 1918. He has since come to be recognized as one of the greatest masters of Expressionism and only Klimt and Kokoschka are better known among modern Austrian artists.