Egon Schiele (1890–1918) designed this poster for the 49th Exhibition of the Vienna Secession
, which ran from 1st March to 1st April 1918 and was a major success for the artist – also financially. In this group show Schiele claimed the main hall of the Secession building for the presentation of his works. With the same confidence, he staged himself at the head of the table on the poster, surrounded by fellow artists including Georg Merkel (1881–1976), Anton Faistauer (1887–1930), Albert Paris Gütersloh (1887–1973), Alfred Kubin (1877–1959) and Felix Albrecht Harta (1884–1967). For this work he modified the painting The Friends (Round Table)
, created in late 1917 and early 1918, which showed him at the head of an L-shaped table, dining with eight other men. For the poster, the Christian iconography was lessened by replacing the plates with books. Another contrast to the earlier painting is the omission of the figure depicted from behind at the center of the painting’s lower edge, which can be identified as Gustav Klimt (1862–1918). He had died on 6th February 1918, following a stroke, and Schiele had created drawings of the dead artist
. The empty chair in the exhibition’s poster is therefore thought to symbolize the void left by Klimt, who had been of such great importance for Schiele and many other artists of his generation.