The Study of :. GUSTAV KLIMT and Art Nouveau. Time and Place:. Vienna during the 1890’s. This Austrian Capital was a vital cultural and scientific center. Interactive map of Austria.
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Vienna during the 1890’s
This Austrian Capital was a vital cultural and scientific center.
Interactive map of Austria
“I have the gift of neither the spoken nor the written word, especially if I have to say something about myself or my work. Whoever wants to know something about me -as an artist, the only notable thing- ought to look carefully at my pictures and try and see in them what I am and what I want to do." Gustav Klimt
The work of the Austrian painter and illustrator Gustav Klimt, b. July 14, 1862, d. Feb. 6, 1918, founder of the school of painting known as the Vienna Secession, embodies the high-keyed free spirited, psychological, and aesthetic preoccupations of turn-of-the-century Vienna's dazzling intellectual world.
He has been called the top example of ART NOUVEAU.
Fine Arts. Means “new art”. This was a movement that developed during the 1890’s. Some characteristics include handmade materials and flat patterns based on stylized plant forms.
The name 'Art Nouveau' derived from the name of a shop in Paris, Maison de l'Art Nouveau, at the time run by Siegfried Bing, that showcased objects that followed this approach to design. The style introduced by Bing was not an immediate success in Paris but rapidly spread to Nancy and to Belgium(especially Brussels) where Victor Horta and Henry Van de Velde would make major contributions in the field of architecture and design. In the United Kingdom Art Nouveau developed out of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
Klimt visited Ravenna, Italy, where he saw early Christian mosaics made from bits of stone and glass that inspired him to paint the patterns in his artwork.
Death and Life
He earlier work is a highly realistic, formal portrait.
The second portrait has a stylized dream-like quality with a realistic face.
Emily Floge at the age of 17, 1891.
Portrait of Emily Floge, 1902
In this composition Klimt incorporated many design elements, such as, complementary colors yellow (gold) and blue and repeated patterns of shapes.
Adele Bloch-Bauer I 1907
Oil and gold on canvas, 138 x 138; Austrian Gallery, Vienna Adele Bloch-Bauer clasping her hands (she had a deformed finger). Dressed in gold, surrounded by gold. A very gold picture.
Klimt, Gustav Oil on canvas 140 x 85 cmToyota Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota City, Japan
The women in many of Klimt’s portraits were the wives of wealthy Viennese businessmen and art collectors.
1900 – 07
Format 430 x 300 cm
Technique Oil on canvas
Location Burned in Schlob Immendorf, Austria, 1945
The University of Vienna rejected Klimt’s Medicine mural because his mystical, snake handling priestess did not fit the University professors’ image of the physician as a scientist and healer.
Format180 x 180 cm
Technique Oil on canvas
Location Vienna, Osterreichische Museum für Angewandte Kunst
Mäda Primavesi (1903–2000), 1912Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862–1918)Gift of André and Clara Mertens, in memory of her mother, Jenny Pulitzer Steiner, 1964 (64.148)
In this portrait, the flower in Mada’s hair and the row of flowers across her dress link her with the floral patterns in the rug and wallpaper. Klimt’s style became freer with fewer dense patterns and hard edges in his later years.
Gustav Klimt. (Austrian, 1862-1918). Oil, gold, and platinum on canvas, 43 1/2 x 43 1/2" (110.5 x 110.5 cm). Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, and Helen Acheson Funds, and Serge Sabarsky
A pregnant woman bows her head and closes her eyes, as if praying for the safety of her child. Peeping out from behind her stomach is a death's head, sign of the danger she faces. At her feet, three women with bowed heads raise their hands, presumably also in prayer—although their solemnity might also imply mourning, as if they foresaw the child's fate.
Why, then, the painting's title? Although Klimt himself called this work Vision, he had called an earlier, related painting of a pregnant woman Hope. By association with the earlier work, this one has become known as Hope, II. There is, however, a richness here to balance the women's gravity.
Klimt was among the many artists of his time who were inspired by sources not only within Europe but far beyond it. He lived in Vienna, a crossroads of East and West, and he drew on such sources as Byzantine art, Mycenean metalwork, Persian rugs and miniatures, the mosaics of the Ravenna churches, and Japanese screens. In this painting the woman's gold-patterned robe—drawn flat, as clothes are in Russian icons, although her skin is rounded and dimensional—has an extraordinary decorative beauty. Here, birth, death, and the sensuality of the living exist side by side suspended in equilibrium.
Gustav KlimtBaby (Cradle), 1917/1918Gift of Otto and Franciska Kallir with the help of the Carol and Edwin Gaines Fullinwider Fund1978.
In his landscapes, Klimt left out the human figure. He preferred to concentrate on the patterns formed by the plants and flowers.
Why might Beech Forest I be considered a “painted mosaic”?
Klimt used small quick brushstrokes to form a glittering pattern of orange and yellow dots, dashes, and scribbles that resemble tiles in a mosaic.
Beech Forest I, 1902
Farm Garden with Sunflower, 1905
Lesson 1 – Tree of Life