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  • Gustav Klimt
    Jul 14, 1862 - Feb 6, 1918
  • Water Serpents II - Gustav Klimt was an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism - nowhere is this more apparent than in his numerous drawings in pencil.
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Water Serpents II
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  • Water Serpents II

  • Gustav Klimt
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  • 1904-07
    Oil on canvas
    80 x 145 cm
    Private collection, Vienna.

    Klimt returned to the theme of "sensual women in water" in two works know as Water Serpents I and Water Serpents II. Water Serpents I is not an oil painting, and its pale, unusual colouring is in part dictated by the medium used. It does not differ much from the preliminary drawings that Klimt used for reference, apart from the addition of the gold paint, and the green and gold-leaf thread entangled around the women's bodies. The unambiguously lesbian embrace of his models would perhaps have been unacceptable had it been presented as a straight portrait. However, by renaming the work and giving it an allegorical theme and by adding the fish-like serpent behind the bodies and adorning every surface with gold and pattern, Klimt was able to show the painting to Vienna without fear of censorship.

    The basic genres of Klimt's art remained unchanged up to the time of his death - portraits, landscapes, and allegories. In his last period, however, these familiar genres were treated with greater expression of feelings and the picutures became less abstract. Human types were no longer disguised in the context of myth or fairy tale. They appeared before the viewer in unvarnished reality. In a later painting, Women Friends, Klimt portrayed lesbianism much more openly. A naked young girl with parted lips rests her head against her lover, who holds a wrap, partly covering their nudity.

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We ordered this painting and the quality is great. For the price you can't beat it.

Other paintings by Gustav Klimt:

The Kiss
The Kiss
The Kiss (Detail)
The Kiss (Detail)
Lady with Fan
Lady with Fan
Malcesine on Lake Garda
Malcesine on Lake Garda
Gustav KlimtGustav Klimt was born in Baumgarten, near Vienna, Austria. He was educated at the Vienna Kunstgewerbe Art School in the years 1879-1883. Klimt was also an honorary member of the Universities of Munich and Vienna. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches and other art objects, many of which are on display in the Vienna Secession gallery. His work is distinguished by an elegant use of gold backgrounds and mosaic patterns. This can be seen in Judith I (1901), and in The Kiss (1907). Art historians note an eclectic range of influences contributing to Klimt's distinct style, including Egyptian, Minoan, Classical Greek, and Byzantine inspirations. Klimt was also inspired by engravings of Albrecht Dürer, late medieval European painting, and Japanese Ukiyo-e. Klimt was one of the founding members of the Wiener Sezession (Vienna Secession) and of the periodical Ver Sacrum. He left the movement in 1908. He died in Vienna of pneumonia and was interred at the Hietzing Cemetery, Vienna.