Birthplace or Egon and the old steam engines
Here you find out what Egon rebelled against and why he stood on the platform hissing and whistling; how his early drawings went up in flames and why his parents’ parlor became part of a railway line.
Egon Leo Adolf Schiele first saw the light of day in the Tulln train station on June 12, 1890. He was born at home. His father was station master and as such was entitled to a large apartment in the station. Adolf Schiele was an imposing man in his uniform, complete with sword and plume hat. His wife Marie was from a wealthy family. She had a maid and ran quite a grand and noble household. She was also quite grand and noble in the way she raised her children. Yet Egon was a little rebel. Barely out of diapers, he began drawing with a stylus. He drew, and brushed and painted. He seemed to have been born with this talent.
Tulln station with white-collar and blue-collar workers
The little rebel.
His studio was the window ledge in his parents’ parlor with a view of the platform. He lay there for hours with his drawing pad. He was fascinated by technology, by the sounds, by the travelers and their emotions. The station quickly became his favorite subject: engines, railroad trains, signal systems. Egon drew everything he saw and imitated everything he heard. He ran up and down the platform hissing like an old steam engine. He snorted and whistled to the amusement of passers-by. Were he not the star of Vienna Modernism, he would probably have made quite a career as an imitator of sounds and voices.
The drawing pad was soon too small for him. His dynamic pictures required larger formats. Egon transformed his parents’ parlor into a gallery. Pictures and sketches were everywhere, even on the floor. Chalk marks ran right through bedroom and dining room all the way to the elegant parlor. It was a twisting rail line with tracks and all the stations to go with it: Greifenburg, Olomütz, Wald. His parents lost patience and not for the first time. The floor was scrubbed. The sketches were set aflame and with them the proof of Egon’s great masterfulness even as a young boy.