Master of the Viennese Secession, scandalous artist, passionate lover, Gustav Klimt, during his intense and prolific career, embodies each of these roles. In Vienna, between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, he is revered by many of the powerful but remains able to amaze all kinds of spectators with the sumptuous decorative works that adorn the city. A prolific painter, a firm supporter of the collective importance of art and of overcoming the differences between major art, dedicated to an elitist public, and a minor one, reserved for the learned and sought-after population.
His creative epic begins with the turmoil due to the strong need for renewal that sees the Austrian capital at the center of the movement, which then went down in history as Viennese Secession. Gustav Klimt, together with his companions, works and fights, in fact, for one goal: to stimulate and spread the artistic sensitivity of their time. Young creatives stand up against the academic colossus to crack the thick structure of rules in which the new exponents of the movement recognized the authoritarian grip of power, symbol of an empire headed towards the final phase of its domination, which they wanted to leave to their shoulders.
Together with his young companions Gustav Klimt is the protagonist of a new and important exhibition at Palazzo Braschi, in the heart of the capital which can be visited from 28 October to 27 March 2022.
For the Roman exhibition, which celebrates the relationship between Italy and the Viennese master on the occasion of the 110th anniversary of the opening of the Venice Biennale which hosted his great masterpieces in 1911, some of the major works of the animator of the Viennese secession; among these the iconic Judith I who steals the face of one of the most prestigious ladies of the time: Adele Bloch-Bauer, of whom it is rumored that the painter was also a fiery lover.
An exhibition in which the relationship that the Austrian artist has with the artistic scene of the peninsula and how Italian art influences his language and research is carefully explored. The gold that floods his works can certainly only come from other suggestions than that of the views of the golden vaults and the decorative images of Christian places of worship in the Byzantine style. Just as the influence of Gustav Klimt’s art is evident in the research of Italian painters of the early 1900s such as Chini, Primi, Lionne and Casorati.
Also worth noting is the attention paid to the graphic commitment of Gustav Klimt by the organizers of the exhibition Franz Smola, curator of the Belvedere in Vienna, Maria Vittoria Marini Clarelli, Capitoline superintendent of cultural heritage, e Sandra Tretter, Deputy Director of the Klimt Foundation of the Viennese Capital. In fact, a long series of preparatory drawings and compositional studies are collected in the exhibition that highlight the artist’s almost obsessive desire to observe the female cosmos. A synthesis between art of the past and innovative languages, the central pivot of Klimt’s investigation that explores the concept of representation with an eye that is anything but modest, making the female figure the inaccessible idol of his own art.
In fact, the Klimtian universe revolves around the femme fatale and his provocative naturalism: the parted lips, the thin fingers, sharp as claws, the languid but penetrating eyes and the pallor of the skin are recurring details in a series of representations that travel suspended between the restless vision of a fair sex at the same lethal time and feeder of unfulfillable desire.