The Gustav Klimt multimedia exhibit at the Marx Halle is phenomenal – like a good film or book that stays with you forever! It’s impossible to recreate the powerful interactive multimedia displays – you have to see them in person!
The visuals and audio were masterfully entertaining and also educational. I learned 100 percent more about Klimt’s life and works. He was a “leading figure of fin-de-siècle Vienna” and deserves his title of “Austria’s most famous painter“.
Fin-de-siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture is a 1979 “transdisciplinary non-fiction book written by cultural historian Carl E. Schorske”. It’s described as a “magnificent revelation of turn-of-the-century Vienna, where out of a crisis of political and social disintegration, so much of modern art and thought was born.” Schorske won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.
Some things I didn’t know about Klimt include the strong effect Byzantine Art, precious metals, historicism, and symbolism had on his work. Klimt’s paintings aren’t subtle, so it’s easy to see that many of them are dedicated to “sensual women,” but his exceptional landscapes are equally impressive.
Klimt began his career as an interior decorator and grew up during the “zenith of the Gründerzeit, a period in nineteenth-century Germany and Austria marked by economic prosperity and large-scale construction”. It was a time “politically and economically dominated by liberalism”.
I learned interesting details about his life. Klimt was one of seven siblings and won his first art scholarship at the age of fourteen. His father, Ernst, was a gold engraver, and his mother, Anna, an opera singer who instilled a deep appreciation of music in her children. Associates who profoundly influenced Klimt’s work, include Austrian dressmaker Emilie Louise Flöge and friend and fellow artist Franz Matsch.
Klimt played a key role in the Vienna Secession, “a group of artists striving for a renewal of art”. Some of his projects included the Beethoven Frieze, painted for the Fourteenth Secession Exhibition in 1902. His ceiling paintings depicting medicine, philosophy, and jurisprudence in the Great Hall of Vienna University resulted in controversy and scandal.
I’ll be seeing more Klimt, with a visit to the world’s largest collection of his works in the Gallery of Vienna’s Upper Belvedere Palace. His multitude of works includes the creation of ceiling paintings in the Burgtheatre. One of his landscapes – Litzlberg on the Attersee – sold for over $25 million.