The National Gallery of Canada breaks into bloom with Gustav Klimt masterpieces
According to her, more earlier portraits by the artist seduce via the rich physicality of their ornament—often conveyed in a gold-encrusted mosaic style—here Klimt relies on exotic marvels to evoke curiosity and command attention.
In the context of this portrait one more fact is worth mentioning. Gustav Klimt was never married, but as a result of his love affairs, 17 children were born. One of his mistresses, according to rumors, was Serena Lederer. Her daughter Elizabeth Bachofen-Eht managed to avoid persecution during the Nazi regime only thanks to testimonies that her real father was "Aryan" Klimt, and not a Jew August Leder.
Left: Gustav Klimt, Portrait of Serena Lederer (1899). National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Like the majority of Klimt’s landscapes, Forest Slope in Unterach on the Attersee (1916) follows a square format achieved through the use of optical devices such as a telescope or opera glasses. "In this carefully crafted two-dimensional painting, planes are artificially stacked one upon the other, with powerful strokes of related colours creating an overall mood of meditative calm," says Appleyard.
Based on materials artdaily.com, official site of National Gallery of Canada, klimt.com