From on, he revolutionized the depiction of the nude: The artist produced innumerable studies of women and men of all ages, as well as of children, in the context of his painted allegories of life. As if in a trance, his figures, anchored in the picture plane, submit to an invisible order, whether in states of dream, meditation, or erotic ecstasy.
It is the idea of a fateful bond between man and the cycle of life determined by Eros, love, birth, and death that provided the background for this kind of representation. The numerous studies for his portraits of women convey an air of majestic enrapture. His brilliant art of the line becomes manifest in every phase of his development — whether in the photographically realistic precision of the s, in the flowing linearity of the period around , in the metallic linear sharpness of the Golden Style, or in the nervous expressiveness of his late years.
Klimt frequently relied on black, red or white chalk, later on pencil, occasionally on pen and ink, or on watercolors. Besides studies of female and — less frequent — male heads, the exclusive genre of completely executed portrait drawings is excellently represented. Of particular interest are the series of studies connected to various paintings; they will be shown in the exhibition in their entirety for the first time.
This work is still a milestone of Klimt scholarship.
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Since , Marian Bisanz-Prakken has had sole responsibility for this cataloguing work; she will publish all new additions in a supplementary volume. Though the comparison with the relevant paintings plays an important role, it is always the autonomy of the drawing that the presentation emphasizes. Each sheet constitutes a world of its own and often goes far beyond the representation of the theme in the respective painting. The Turn to Modernism and the Secession — With his contribution to Allegorien, Neue Folge, Klimt professed his faith in Symbolism publically for the first time.
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In , he was appointed president of the newly founded Secession. His studies for portraits of women of Viennese society, a genre newly developed by the artist, constitute a group of its own. Around , the artist switched from black chalk on wrapping paper to graphite pencil on Japan paper. In the context of his studies for Water Snakes I and II he thematized the taboo topics lesbian love and autoeroticism for the first time. A series of studies for various portrait paintings are shown next to various autonomous, painterly portrait drawings.
The Late Years — From on, Klimt increasingly focused on erotic themes in his work as a draftsman.
‘Lost’ Klimt Drawing Found in Cupboard of Museum Personal Assistant
He not only made entire series of studies for his major works The Virgin and The Bride, but also numerous autonomous drawings. One of Klimt's most popular paintings is a brilliant example of his style. The Kiss captures the passion of two lovers. The painting is a swirling, rectangle speckled explosion of color. Only the faces and hands of the couple peek from the colorful, vibrant display. Although Klimt began as a decorator, he moved into his own studio at age 30 to begin the easel painting that would later produce such works as mentioned.
He was bothered by the art world's embracing of naturalism, and he took steps to break free of the naturalistic constraints that he felt repressed artistic creativity. Klimt was quoted as saying, "All art is erotic. Klimt's work was more sensual than that of his peers.
Gustav Klimt - Wikipedia
Because of this, he was often subjected to criticism. In fact, his work was often displayed behind a screen in an effort to shield the young from corruption. Klimt's work can be characterized by vivid, juxtaposition of form and colors. These were so different from abrupt styles, but his brushstrokes are in no way aimless.
There is a focused pattern to the ornate decorative style, perhaps a tension between pleasure and pain. His paintings seem to have "eternal" features, not confined to a particular time period or space.
Many of his paintings display a delightful blend of opposites such as the concepts of pleasure and pain or life and death. The fact that Klimt drew from so many influences gives his work a very unique and elegant look. Many of his paintings incorporate gold.
Women were favorite subjects for Klimt, but the fact that he painted them in a sensual way and often without clothing did not help his acceptance in a time of repression. Many of his paintings display nude women. Many of Klimt's drawings have resurfaced in recent years.
Klimt often made quick sketches as studies for his larger paintings. The majority of Klimt's sketches are figurative drawings of women embracing or in sensual poses. Since Klimt only signed work that he sold, many of his sketches were left unsigned.
Sketches were the backbone of all of this artist's work, be it portraits or landscape scenes
Sketches that Klimt did sell were often sold to men, who bought the sketches for their own pleasure rather than for exhibition. It was extremely rare and inappropriate for men to hang drawings of nude women in their homes. Consequently, a great number of Klimt's sketches have been well preserved.
- Gustav Klimt's Drawings at the Getty: You Think You Know Klimt But You Have No Idea | L.A. Weekly?
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In addition to quick, study-sketches, Klimt completed a number of finished, charcoal drawings.