Dear Cleo 18 11 27

Dearest Cleo

After we met last Saturday, I went up town in the afternoon to see the Klimt/Schiele exhibition at the Royal Academy. Schiele is one of my favourite artists and I was more than impressed with the drawings on show.

This was my second Schiele exhibition within a month but this time he was paired with his mentor Klimt, the excuse for the exhibition seemed to be that 2018 was the centenary of the death of both Klimt and Schiele but they appear to have much more in common than that.

Firstly they both lived in Austria, both lived in Vienna, both were part of the secessionist movement and like most Viennese in the early twentieth century, including Freud, sex seemed to be the drug of choice.

Both drew explicit nudes but whereas Klimt’s drawings have the air of prepatory studies for paintings, Schiele’s drawings were an end in themselves. Klimt’s drawings are invariably in pencil or charcoal but Schiele used a wide range of media both wet and dry so that some of his works are classed as drawings only because they were executed on paper.

Schiele’s angular drawings are instantly attributable to him, many having a riot of expressionist colour and they all feel that they were executed at great speed, full of pent up emotion, eager to commit to the page. Klimt’s drawings, however, are more considered and flowing, more of a prepatory study than an in your face statement.

Neither artist, in my opinion, achieved a successful transition from drawing to canvas and both of their paintings have something of a contrived aspect to them, that seems to avoid the energy and enthusiasm of the original drawing, there is a certain deadness from drawing to paint, perhaps the only exception being Klimt’s Judith.

One thing I noticed, was that both of them had a shorthand for hands and feet that seemed to work all of the time, these are difficult things to draw as I know from my time in the life room, but I realise I need to practice more and develop a convincing short hand for these that is instantly believable for these in whatever position they lie to bring my own drawings to life, they are such an important part of a life drawing.

It was good to see an exhibition of Schiele’s work where the companion artist had not also died tragically young. It was also good to see the influence of Klimt on Schiele.

I am looking forward to catching up at the weekend by which time we will be in your birthday month.

My love as always

Mickos xx


The Catalogue

Hore, R, (ed) (2018) Klimt Schiele. Drawings From the Albertina Museum, Vienna.London: Royal academy of Arts.

The Exhibition

Royal Academy. (2018) Klimt/Schiele: Drawings from the Albertina Museum Vienna. At: (Accessed 26/11/18)

The Critics

Campbell Johnson, R. (2018) Exhibition Review: Klimt/Schiele Drawings from the Albertina Museum, Vienna at the Royal Academy W1. At: (Accessed 26/11/18)

Collings, M. (2018) Klimt/Schiele review: Protégé steals the show in tale of two great Austrian artists. At: (Accessed 26/11/18)

Cumming, L. (2018) Klimt/Schiele review- their obsessions were mutual. At: (Accessed 26/11/18)

Collings, M. (2018) Klimt/Schiele review: Protégé steals the show in tale of two great Austrian artists. At: (Accessed 26/11/18)

Jones, J. (2018) Klimt/Schiele review-the double act who the profound in the pornographic. At: (Accessed 26/11/18)

Prodger, M. (2018) Eroticism in black and white: the drawings of Klimt and Schiele. At: 26/11/18)

Westall, M. (2018) Klimt/Schiele exhibition opens in London. At: (Accessed 26/11/18)