Nowhere is the fabled sensuality of Gustav Klimt more apparent than in the tapering limpidity of his drawings. Now, in celebration of the artist’s 150th birthday, this volume draws on the world’s largest collection of Klimt drawings, at the Vienna Museum, to offer a thorough account of around 400 works by the artist. Drawings are arranged in thematic groups, such as the Secession works, sketches for the Faculty Paintings (also known as the University of Vienna Ceiling Paintings) and the nudes. The book also includes paintings from the Vienna Museum collection, such as the portrait of Emilie Flöge (1902), as well as posters and prints designed for the Viennese Secession (including a number of original drafts, as well as the first prints), plus photographs of some extraordinary memorabilia, such as the artist’s smock, his death mask and a drawing of Klimt’s body by Egon Schiele. Also featured are rare vintage prints of early portrait photographs and sculptures. With more than 500 color reproductions, this volume constitutes a uniquely broad overview of the artist’s legendary virtuoso draughtsmanship.
Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) was a founding member and president of the Vienna Secession. Trained academically, Klimt infused allegory painting with an eroticism that was frequently deemed controversial--perhaps most notoriously in his allegorical portraits of “Philosophy,” “Medicine” and “Jurisprudence,” for the ceiling of the Great Hall in the University of Vienna, which were destroyed by the German army in 1945. His later paintings of the “Golden Phase” expressed his love of Byzantine art.