Egon Schiele—Seated women with bent knee, 1917. (Although Egon was an apprentice of Gustav Klimt he took a different approach with his art; he was quite controversial at his time for his nudes.)
In April 1912 he had been arrested for seducing a young girl below the age of consent. When the police came to his studio to place him under arrest, they seized more than a hundred drawings which they considered pornographic. Schiele was imprisoned while awaiting his trial. When his case was brought before a judge, the charges of seduction and abduction were dropped, but the artist was found guilty of exhibiting erotic drawings in a place accessible to children. In court, the judge burned one of the offending drawings over a candle flame. The twenty-one days he had already spent in custody were taken into account, and he was sentenced to a further three days’ imprisonment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egon_Schiele Controversial doesn’t seem to quite cover it, does it?
Schiele is now obtaining a renewed appreciation. Egon was always venerated by connoisseurs who valued the line, placement, form, and the shear edginess of his artistic expression. Today he is gathering a much wider appeal. In fact, he is discussed by an art critic in a current Sundance series on T.V.
And as a sidenote, nudes in the artworld and public world have always been at odds it seems. I wonder, might it be interesting to know how many artists have not done nudes? Excluding of course, those practicing the landscape, floral, and the like expressions of art.