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  • Writer's pictureBen Samuel

Egon Schiele's death bed sketches of his wife Edith & Gustav Klimt

Egon Schiele's (1890 – 1918) death bed sketch of his wife Edith, who was six months pregnant at the time. He himself was dying even as he drew this. Edith succumbed to influenza on the 28th Oct (1918). Egon died three days later. Both died during the 1918 influenza pandemic (also known by the misnomer Spanish flu pandemic).

“The illness is extremely serious and life-threatening. I am already preparing myself for the worst.” - Egon Schiele writing to his mother.

Unable to speak to her husband due to her illness on October 27th Edith wrote...

“I love you eternally and love you more and more infinitely and immeasurably.” - Edith Schiele

Edith with Striped Dress, Sitting, by Egon Schiele, 1915

Egon Schiele with his wife Edith Harms/Schiele

The Family (1918) by Egon Schiele. This unfinished painting is one of the last oil paintings created before his death. The model in this painting is not Schiele's wife, Edith but is thought to possibly be his former lover Wally Neuzil. The child has been painted over a vase of flowers which originally featured in the painting.

Death bed sketches of Gustav Klimt

Below are death bed sketches of his friend and mentor Gustav Klimt (1862 – 1918). Klimt suffered a stroke and pneumonia due to contracting influenza during the 1918 influenza pandemic and died Feb 6th (1918).

Gustav Klimt with his cat (c.1910)

Egon Schiele on his deathbed (1918) by Martha Fein

"I know there is much misery in our existence and because I find Autumn much more beautiful than every other season…. It fills the heart with grief and reminds us that we are but pilgrims on this earth…" - Egon Schiele (1890 – 1918)

50 million people died worldwide during the 1918 influenza pandemic.

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