Here’s an art itinerary from a recent Klimt day… I spy with my explorer eye…

  1. …a bust of child from 1895

  2. …a gilded detail on a card from… August 5, 1895

  3. …two girls, standing close together, focused on the flowers of an oleander bush.
  4. Directly behind them are elements of a monumental architectural structure in marble, its horizontal and vertical lines reiterating those of the picture frame.

  5. ...the first in a new style for the artist and a key work in the Viennese art at the turn of the twentieth century.
  6. Novel for Klimt were the life-size rendering of the sitter and the square shape of the portrait, which exudes a calming sense of balance. Klimt suggested that the image is of a deftly captured fleeting moment – a “snapshot.”

  7. …a pattern detail from the photo copy of a highly controversial painting destroyed in 1945.
  8. In 1893 Austria’s ministry of culture commissioned the artists Gustav Klimt and Franz Matsch to decorate the Great Hall of the University of Vienna. The Habsburg empire had entered its final phase, and Vienna, one of Europe’s flourishing cultural and scientific centres, was under liberal rule and experiencing a period of industrial expansion and new ideas that was to become known as the Ringstrasse era. Ringstrasse, an imposing avenue, encircled the old centre of Vienna, and grand buildings were erected along it.

  9. The catalogue for this Beethoven exhibition described these figures as “the choir of the angels from Paradise.”

  10. “This Kiss for the Entire World.”

  11. …a vast heap of brightly colored fabrics.
  12. The picture’s true subject thus become the colorful decorative coverlet, out of which Klimt has created a fantastic ornamental pyramid.

  13. …the dazzingly bright ornamental swirl
  14. one of Klimt’s most significant figural composition of his later years.

  15. … a fabric design by Martha Alber for the Wiener Werkstätte

  16. … a woman dressed in white
  17. She died in 1964 in Santa Clara County, California

  18. …Klimt’s third effort to finish this portrait

  19. … a farmhouse eneveloped in the natural forms

  20. … a castle on its own island in the Attersee

  21. … a broad band of flowers, including oleander
  22. Klimt has followed the laws of perspective in depicting flowers ever smaller as they recede.


  1. Bust of child (study for the painting Love), 1895
  2. Bust portrait of a little girl from the front (Study for “Love”)

  3. Card with best wished on the occasion of the wedding of Eugenia Bertolini and Julius Rhomberg

  4. Two Girls with an Oleander Bush, ca. 1890/1892
  5. Klimt’s model for the girl in the foreground was an Italian Renaissance bust sculpted by Francesco Laurana (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna).

  6. Portrait of Sonja Knips, 1898
    Belvedere, Vienna
  7. With the portrait of Sonja Knips Klimt comes to a turning point in his oeuvre. It stands at the beginning to a series of portraits showing women of Viennese society.

  8. Medicine (1901)
  9. The photo was taken at the time and is the only surviving picture of the painting.

    Doctors versus artists: Gustav Klimt’s Medicine
    Faculty Paintings Vienna University
    University of Vienna Ceiling Paintings (Medicine)

  10. The Beethoven Frieze, 1902
  11. Klimt’s contribution to the Beethoven Exhibition is considered one of his most defining works. His program included the Beethoven Frieze, a painting that ran across three walls of the exhibition hall.

    Using spare graphic lines and ornamental surface treatments, Klimt explored the theme of humanity’s desire for happiness and hope for salvation.

  12. The Beethoven Frieze, 1902
  13. The frieze culminates in a passionate embrace that was described in the exhibition catalogue as “This Kiss for the Entire World.”

  14. The Baby, 1917
  15. Klimt here has adopted one of the principle of European modernism – the reversal of ostensibly “main” and “subsidiary” motifs – by removing the nominal protagonist to the composition’s upper edge.

  16. The Virgin, 1913
  17. This artwork has a special place in Klimt’s oeuvre as well as the National Gallery in Prague.

  18. Portrait of Johanna Staude, 1917
  19. It is one of Klimt’s few small-scale portraits of a sitter whom we can identify by name.

  20. Portrait of Gertrud Loew, 1902
  21. Bildnis Gertrud Loew, painted in 1902, is an extraordinarily beautiful and captivating work from a crucial period in the artist’s career. Wreathed in diaphanous folds of gossamer fine white and lilac cloths, the sitter’s delicate features are composed into an expression of dreamy repose and gentleness, animated only by points of reflected light in her eyes. Klimt’s vertically inclined composition helps to enhance the figure’s somnambulant detachment by removing all extraneous details.

  22. Portrait of Ria Munk III
  23. While still working on this third portrait of Ria, Klimt himself died. A beautiful example of his famous portrayals of women, this unfinished work gives fascinating insight into the artist’s process. Note the tentative placement of painted color patches amid rapidly sketched charcoal lines, the precisely outlined ornaments waiting to be filled in, and the fully developed flower pattern that envelops the upper part of the figure.

  24. Farmhouse in Upper Austria, 1911
  25. Bauernhaus in Buchberg 1911

    Upper Austria (Austro-Bavarian: Obaöstarreich) is one of the nine States of Austria|states or Bundesländer of Austria. Its capital is Linz.

  26. Allée at Schloss Kammer, 1912
  27. This landscape signals the advent of a new phase in Klimt’s work during which he began to employ powerful spots of color.

    Allee zum Schloss Kammer, 1912

  28. A Garden in Italy, 1913
  29. Italienische Gartenlandschaft

    Klimt spent the summer together with friends in Italy, on Lake Garda. The gardens of Albergho Morandi, a well known boarding-house opposite of Malcesine, are regarded as reference for the ‘Italian Garden’.




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1 Response to ART ITINERARY: Gustav Klimt

  1. Pingback: A Klimt Valentine | TheKittyCats

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