Anectodes: Gustav Klimt

Today I’ll talk about the Austrian painter,Gustav Klimt.

” All art is erotic ”

Gustav Klimt was seen as an artist who was far ahead of his time, and much of the work that was produced during the Austrian born artist’s career, was seen as controversial. It was criticized due to the erotic gustav-klimtand exotic nature. Although symbolism was used in his art forms, it was not at all subtle, and it went far beyond what the imagination during the time frame accepted. Although his work was not widely accepted during his time, some of the pieces that Gustav Klimt did create during his career, are today seen as some of the most important and influential pieces to come out of Austria.

1.”I paint a girl as I like and just do it!”
The erfectionism of Gustav Klimt was legendary, so much so that he worked for three years at the portrait of Elisabeth Bachofen-Echt, daughter of one of his major patron. Elisabeth was forced to sit for hours. Klimt took sketches of the girl in different poses, but was never satisfied with the result. Since Elisabeth meanwhile criticized both positions as well as the clothes chosen, she came soon to the clash and, during an argument, Klimt finally blurted out: “I paint a girl as I please just do it!” After three years Elisabeth Bachofen-Echt lost patience, he went to the study of Klimt, took the painting off the easel and carried it home. When Klimt later saw him exposed in the living room of the family would have said, in a bad mood: “She did not like at all.” The buyer did not totally discouraged by this statement and commissioned Klimt’s portrait of his mother, Charlotte Pulitzer.

2.Hope ..Threatened

Gustav-Klimt-Hope1It was most likely Mizzi Zimmermann, model and lover of Gustav Klimt, pregnant at the time, to arouse in him the inspiration for the reason of pregnant women that recurs in his work. During the making of “The Hope” that was again this theme, the son of a year just born from his relationship with Mizzi, Otto, died suddenly.
This event brought about a change in the design of the framework.
The piece of blue fabric, interwoven with gold threads, after the woman pregnant, see the hope of the title, but the background is populated now disturbing figures: next to the giant Typhon, already known from the Beethoven Frieze, faces with grimaces and grins claims, identified by the daughters of the giant, and look at the woman symbolizing sickness, death, madness, lust and sexual immorality as well as pain.

3.”There are only two painters: Velázquez and me.
Gustav Klimt has traveled a lot, but not willingly. He felt absolutely at ease at home, in Vienna, and the Attersee in the Salzkammergut, where velazquez-detailhe spent every summer. Even in 1903 undertook a journey, this time in Italy. Klimt, who in a message of greeting to Emilie Flöge once already had left to go to the exclamation “To hell with words!”, Again was stingy with descriptions of his travel impressions. The phrase “… in Ravenna so much misery – mosaics of unprecedented splendor …” it is to be considered then one of the comments most enthusiastic about art that we know was pronounced by Klimt.

The meeting with the figures of Byzantine mosaics, which seemed to float against the force of gravity on the golden background, followed a few days later the works of the masters in medieval Florence, about which Klimt, in his letters, after a mention of the time bad, he said succinctly: “Impressions art very strong.” They should spend a few more years before Kilmt were able to express their impressions in the language that he was a force and power unequaled: his painting.

He had no need to travel to get inspired by the old masters. The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna was able to study the rich collection of works by Diego Velázquez. He admired artists, it can be seen from the observation ironic that once explained this way: “There are only two painters: Velázquez and me.” In the portrait of Fritza Riedler finally he managed to merge both influences. For the first time, in a painting by Klimt, it prevailed a gold surface closed. Thus began the “golden period” of his work that he later reached its peak with “The Kiss“.


… I am sure of one thing: that I am a poor fool.
Throughout the city continuously they circulated rumors about relationships of Gustav Klimt with his models but also with its upper-class patrons. When Klimt made a pass at the young Alma Schindler, Alma Mahler-Werfel later, and this began to accept them, the story caused a sensation. Klimt, who had accompanied her mother Alma and Anna together with her stepfather Carl Moll on a trip to Italy, he left precipitously Venice by returning to Vienna. Against Carl Moll, Klimt proved repentant and wrote to him, something that will certainly cost in Klimt, a long letter in which he had to explain everything and which in fact did not clarify anything. “Miss,” he wrote in the letter speaking of Alma, “certainly was aware of what was said about me, about my relationships, very real, very fake, I myself do not know much about precise about my relationships and I do not mean even chiarirmelo – one thing is certain: they are a poor fool. ” In short: the situation between the two men had been clarified and Klimt had reconciled with Carl Moll. From this “reconciliation” she remained however excluded the only Alma who felt deceived by the “first great love” of his life. For this reason, Alma marked with a cross in his diary on the day of reconciliation between the stepfather and Klimt and wrote: “He gave it to me without a fight, he was betrayed.”



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