Gustav Klimt (1862 – 1918) produced some rather desirable artworks. Two of his paintings appear in the top 20 most expensive paintings of all time (coming in at 6th and 19th respectively). His life can be summarised as follows – Austrian born, famous for murals, fathered 14 children, often drew on women’s bodies for inspiration (not surprising considering the previous), successful Golden Period.
During his Golden Period (early 1900s) he produced the Tree of Life, probably his most famous painting The Kiss, as well as the 6th most expensive painting of all time – Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. All were painted in a similar gilded style, using oil paint intermixed with gold leaf to create these rather resplendent and luxurious looking artworks.
There have been quite a few interpretations of the The Tree of Life. With Klimt’s symbolism thought to convey messages of life’s complexities, the masculine and feminine and unity. For Plant Curator, although slightly biased, the most enduring sensation is the wondrous and magical nature of trees.
Gustav Klimt painted The Tree of Life in 1909 as part of a mural on the dining room wall in the Palais Stoclet, located in Brussels, Belgium. Although still there, it is unfortunately not available for public viewing.
Previous posts in this series:
Classic artworks series no 2: Klee – Fig Tree
Classic artworks series no 1: Matisse – Trivaux Pond