SCHIELE AND KRUMLOV
Český Krumlov, one of the most beautiful Renaissance towns in Europe and an outstanding architectural jewel, was a great inspiration to Schiele. The beauty and situation of the town in the middle of the Bohemian landscape have always attracted artists and writers.
Throughout his life Schiele was also filled with enthusiasm for the birthplace and home town of his mother. He already knew the town from childhood visits to relatives and he also spent his holidays during his time at the Academy in Krumau. He drew one of his youthful works in 1906 from a local motif: "The Budweiser Gate in Krumlov". This work is the earliest known landscape by Schiele.
After completing his studies he began to develop his own artistic form and content - starting from Art Nouveau and fascinated by expressionism. At first this brought him neither financial success nor social recognition.
Tired of city life in Vienna Schiele took up residence in Krumlov at 133 Masná Street (Fleischgasse) so that he could begin a new "artist's life". He was joined there by his colleagues Erwin Osen and Anton Peschka who shared the same view of life. The three young artists soon attracted the attention of the small-town population through their unconventional appearance. Nevertheless Schiele thought about settling in Krumlov. The interlocking houses and old walls of the little town on the Vltava stimulated him artistically so that he time and again sought views of his motifs from points high above the town. Many of his most beautiful town- and landscapes were created here.
Schiele had travelled to Krumlov with practically no money although he could not rely on selling enough pictures to make a living in this small-town environment. Therefore he returned to Vienna in the autumn of 1910 and spent the winter there. He used the time to contact his patrons and clients: including Arthur Roessler, Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffman and Oskar Reichel.
In May 1911 Schiele moved to Krumlov with his girlfriend Wally Neuzil - a former model of Gustav Klimt. With great excitement they moved into the garden house of the art-loving salesman Max Tschunko where Schiele could finally work in the open air. Their idyllic lifestyle in the artists' den, however, came to an abrupt end. The small town citizens were so shocked by the couple who were living in sin and by the fact that Schiele used very young girls as models that he felt compelled to leave Krumlov again in August 1911: "I don't want to think about Krumlov, I love the town so much, as the people know not what they do."
Even so, he returned to Krumlov again and again for short stays, sketched the architecture of his "Town on the blue river", and made them into large-scale Krumlov town visions in his Vienna studio.