Portrait of Adele: Unlined Midi Journal

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Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907), reproduced here, is an example of the Viennese “Jugendstil” style. Klimt was firmly convinced that there should be no separation between so-called “low” and “high” forms of art. His canvasses were filled with organic forms reminiscent of the earlier Arts and Crafts movement as well as decorative patterns suggestive of Art Nouveau, both styles that were oriented towards this principle of universal art.

Although clearly unique to Klimt’s original style, his Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, reproduced here, still fits within the currents of Art Nouveau and Symbolism. The rich patterns are an example of the former style, while the suggestive symbols, such as triangles, eggs and eyes, remind us that Klimt was receptive to the newest ideas circulating in Vienna’s salons – the “Meetups” and “TED Talks” of the early 20th century. The liberal amounts of gold leaf that he used to fill the background and depict the armchair and woman’s gown were inspired by Klimt’s fascination with traditional Japanese art and the look of Byzantine religious mosaics that he saw during his travels to Venice and Ravenna.

For all the ostentatious quality of the painting, this portrait of one of Klimt’s patrons is a beguiling image projecting the strength and sovereignty of Vienna’s society women.

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Format: Hardback with elastic closure
Pages: 240 blank 
Size: 5.00 x 7.00 inches


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