Gustav Klimt, Attersee Collage © Leopold Museum, Wien, 2017

GUSTAV KLIMT

1862–1918

ON LAKE ATTERSEE | 1900
OIL ON CANVAS
80,2 × 80,2 CM

 

For the time, this landscape was an unusual and courageous depiction of Klimt’s much-loved Attersee. Courageously, the totality of the water surface is rendered here as an almost abstract color composition and encompasses the majority of the painting. With a certain freedom, Klimt depicts the waves as turquoise speckles, which progressively shrink toward the top of the painting and thereby suggest the illusion of depth. The dark tree tops of the island of Litzlberg in the upper-right corner are the only clearly defined objects on the horizon. Of all of his landscape paintings, this is the one where Klimt ventured furthest into abstract art. The unusual turquoise color is reminiscent of contemporaneous pictures by the French Impressionist Claude Monet, but also pays homage to the unique topographical attributes of the Attersee, which features such colors during the morning hours in the summer. 

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