Before my trip to Vienna in December last year, all I knew about Klimt more or less was his famous masterpiece “The Kiss”. I always thought it was beautiful and delicate, although a bit too commercialised. It wasn’t until I visited the Belvedere for the exhibition: Gustav Klimt / Josef Hoffmann: Pioneers of Modernism that I really got to know more about his stunning work and the Viennese Art Nouveau movement. It totally swept me off my feet… The colours, the subjects, the eroticism, the sensuality, the technique, the mystery were spellbinding and timeless… I remember standing in awe in front of his work thinking that this man was truly a visionary and pioneer of his time. He is now one of my favourite artists…
On the occasion of Klimt’s 150th anniversary, many special exhibitions are taking place in Vienna. You can find out all the details on Klimt 2012 here.
Below are some of my personal favorites from all phases of his work.
Portrait of Johanna Staude (unfinished), 1917, oil on canvas, 70 x 50, at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna
Lady with Fan, 1917, oil on canvas, 100 x 100, privately owned
Portrait of Amalie Zuckerkandl (unfinished), 1917, oil on canvas, 128 x 128, at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna
The Girlfriends, 1916, oil on canvas, 99 x 99, destroyed by a fire set by retreating German forces in 1945 at Schloss Immendorf, Austria
Lady with a muff, 1916, oil on canvas, depository unknown
The Virgins, 1913, oil on canvas, 190 x 200, at the National Gallery Prague
Portrait of Eugenia Primavesi, 1913, oil on canvas, 140 x 84, privately owned
Portrait of Mäda Primavesi, 1912, oil on canvas, 149,9 x 110,5, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Kiss, 1908, oil on canvas, 180 x 180, at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, 1907, oil on canvas, 138 x 138, at the Neue Galerie New York
Poppy Field, 1907, oil on canvas, 110 x 110, at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna
Water Serpents II, 1904, oil on canvas, 80 x 145, privately owned
Portrait of Emilie Flöge, 1902, oil on canvas, 181 x 84, at the Historisches Museum der Stadt Wien, Vienna
Judith I (and the head of Holofernes), 1901, oil on canvas, 82 x 42, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna
Hygieia (detail from Medicine), 1900, oil on canvas, destroyed by a fire set by retreating German forces in 1945 at Schloss Immendorf, Austria
Nuda Veritas, 1899, oil on canvas, 252 x 55,2, at the Österreichisches Theatermuseum, Vienna (the quote in the painting says: If you can’t please everybody with your deeds and your art please only few. To please many is bad. -Schiller).
“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
*Source of images: Gustav Klimt museum