Gustav Klimt Personal Study Essay

1797 words - 7 pages

When looking at symbolism in my personal investigation last year I discovered the artist Gustav Klimt. I mainly concentrated on Klimt throughout the study as I really appreciated his use of patterns, colour and amazing figures. I have decided to focus on his work in this years personal study; it will give me the opportunity to explore his art further, and look at paintings that I prefer in more depth.Klimt once stated "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 then what I am and what I want to do." This expresses his style and use of symbolism well, it is sometimes difficult to explain and identify. I love the elusive style and mysterious element which allows you to make your own interpretations.He has been called the pre-eminent exponent of Art Nouveau. Klimt began as an artist-decorator in 1883, in association with his brother and Franz Matsoh. In 1886-92, Klimt executed mural decorations for staircases at the Burgtheater and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna; these confirmed Klimt's eclecticism and broadened his range of historical references. Klimt was a confounder and the first president of the Vienna secession, a group of modernist architects and artists who organised their own exhibition society and gave rise to the Secession Movement, or the Viennese version of Art Nouveau. He was also a frequent contributor to Ver Sacrum, the group's journal."Klimt's art was enriched by the struggle between contrary impulses-the sensuous, essentially naturalistic depiction of eroticism, and an almost overmastering urge to fill the canvas with brilliant, intricate decoration." Nathaniel HarrisBefore I started I decided I would like to have a final piece that is inspired by Klimt's friezes-So it will be spread over say three boards to reflect his large scale murals. I looked at the Beethoven Frieze (1902), which was created as a compliment to the work of the Leipzig sculptor Max Klinger. It was arranged to exhibit his statue of Beethoven at the secession building as a kind of Beethoven temple and tribute to Klinger. Klimt's contribution was a frieze running along three walls of a room and consisted of four main scenes linked by repeated floating female figures symbolizing the longings that drive humanity onwards. The scenes were suggested by Beethoven's Ninth (choral) symphony.*In The longing for Happiness, the suffering, feeble humankind appeals to the strong well-armed knight in golden armour for help: invoking compassion and ambition as moving forces in the struggle for happiness.*The hostile Powers is the darkest and densest of the Beethoven frieze panels, it represents an infernal region full of snares for the human soul. The huge ape represents the giant Typhoeus, against whom the Gods themselves fought in vain, with his three...

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