Klimt in Italy
In those same years Klimt returns to Italy several timesGenoa, Venice, Verona, Ravenna, Padua and are his postcards sent to Emilie Floge that remain a precious testimony of his travels, experiences and impressions.
In the years between 1900 and 1918, the year of his death, the most beautiful works were born that deserve the status of icon. Judith, is one of these, a legendary biblical figure, where Klimt pays homage to the charm of female eroticism while committing a murder.
Great master in mostly female portraiture, a genre that was very popular in those years, portrays women belonging to the affluent class, rich and highly placed. Their portraits are presented at the International Exhibition of Fine Arts in Rome in 1911, together with the famous Il Bacio, two symbolist works Death and life And Justice And The Water Bisce Me (or The Sisters). The impression that comes from the vivid colors, the sinuous lines, the exuberant decorative motifs that release attraction and seduction is very positive.
In Venice with La Biennale Internazionale d’Arte, he exhibits Le Amiche and Bisce d’Acqua II which cause scandal and reproach enough: the elegant ladies of good Viennese society have stripped naked!
In 1914 Klimt and other artists shown for the first time at the Roman Secession born in 1912 following the successes of Klimt’s group in Italy. Also the Roman Secession proposes cultural updates and renewals art at a European level following the modernist example of the Austrian one. The installation by Peche, architect and designer, is inspired by the principle of the total work of art, shared by many Italian artists, while the rooms are filled with paintings, sculptures, precious objects, fabrics, silks and ceramics, many of which , elegant and refined, are present in the exhibition of Palazzo Braschi in Rome.
Portrait of a lady (1916-17) belongs to the last period of Klimt’s activity. The execution is less refined, the faster and more dynamic brushstroke speaks of emotions and feelings and an involvement in expressionist atmospheres. The theft of the canvas in 1997 as well as its discovery in 2019 remained mysterious and inexplicable.
In 1918, when Klimt suffered a stroke, he was working on The bride, a large format work. The theme is love, the senses, the desire and the happiness that the bride awaits as she indulges in sleep. Strong color contrasts are characteristic of this latest creative phase.
Loved and appreciated as a critic, a character of great depth and personality, he remains a fundamental reference in the artistic panorama of those years. So commented in 1911 Nino Barbantini, Director of the International Gallery of Ca ‘Pesaro: “… Klimt’s art is unpleasant to our time because it goes beyond it and prepares the time for tomorrow …”
Klimt in Rome until March 27, 2022
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