In 1912, the artist was imprisoned for a short period of time because of his way of painting very young nude models that was thought to be immoral.Schiele then joined the "Bund Österreichischer Künstler" and worked for the Berlin journal "Die Aktion" in 1913.
As the son of the stationmaster in the provincial Austrian town of Tulln, Schiele had enjoyed a comfortable childhood, but his father suffered secretly from syphilis.
An older sister died, probably of the disease, when Egon was three, and his father finally succumbed in 1904, when the artist was fourteen.
In the following year he broke off his relationship with Wally Neuziel, whom he had been attached to for four years, and married Edith Harms.
When Egon Schiele was a soldier for two years since 1915, he painted only very few pictures.
In the portraits executed toward the second half of the year, one sees for the first time the influence of his compatriot Oskar Kokoschka.
The scraped, primitive surfaces and relatively subdued hues of these works constitute a decisive break from the exuberance of the period immediately preceding.
In 1906, the young Schiele entered the class of Christian Griepenkerl, a painter of portraits and historic events at the Wiener Akademie, who was still rooted very much in the traditional disciplines.
The imposed studies there, which Egon Schiele practised only reluctantly, left no significant traces in his personal artistic style.
The main motives of these decadently coloured representations are self-portraits and portraits, but also nudes that are distinguished by strongly erotic features.
These pictures irritated the conventional perception and therefore became early examples of Viennese expressionism.