To the right we see life. We see a number of young women lying on a flower bed. We see a muscular man holding one of the women and we see an older woman also lying in the middle of the group. The depiction thus covers people, young and old, with a focus on the adults in their best age. There is an over representation of women in the painting which could refer to women as the source of all life. It could also reflect Klimt's preference for depiction women, preferably somewhat undressed. All the subjects are somewhat covered by cloth bearing numerous symbols.
Due to the disgrace, and disdain of locals, Gustav Klimt feels that his work and popularity are taking a turn for the worst; it is in 1897 that he begins the Secession Movement. This movement takes focus on young artists, in an attempt to expose their work, and help bring foreign art forms to the Vienna based magazines. In 1898, the movement has its first organized exhibit, which draws in a very large showing, of about 57,000 visitors. From this period, to about 1905, Gustav Klimt was a central force and leader of this movement; in fact, during this decade, it was the most popular, and most well known art movement in Vienna.
Although Gustav Klimt and his former partner had a falling out, in 1900, the first exhibit which he created for the University of Vienna, was laid out for public display. It was presented at the Paris World Fair, and he won the Grand Prix award for this piece. He continues the work in the university through 1901, even though it is met with criticism by many locals in Vienna.
After leaving the Secession Movement in 1905, Gustav Klimt takes on a new approach, which is not well accepted in Vienna; not only by other artists, but by the locals either. He creates various pieces, which include: Danae, and The Kiss. which are extremely erotic and exotic in nature. They depict the differences in sexuality between men and women, and the pieces he creates during this time, although symbolic, are very literal in many of the figures, and depiction of the human form. Up until about 1914, many of the pieces that he created, took on this sexual under pining, and were not widely accepted, in part due to their graphic nature, and in part because of the time period that he lived in and worked in. Travels to RomeIn 1911, Gustav Klimt travels to Florence and Rome, and creates several pieces. Death and Life, The Virgin, and The Bride are among the landscape pieces that he creates during the next few years. Outside of Vienna, these pieces were a bit more widely accepted, namely due to the different art forms in regions outside of his home city. Although his work was still graphic in nature, and took a non traditional approach to depicting landscape, and the human figure, much of the work which he created only a few years prior to his death, were more widely accepted outside of Vienna. DeathIn 1918, Gustav Klimt suffered from a stroke in his apartment; and, on February 6th of that year, he dies due to pneumonia. Although much of his work was not accepted during his career, due to his intense style, and graphic depictions, it was far more accepted following his death. In addition to the sales of his pieces increasing post death, many of the pieces that Gustav Klimt did create during the course of his career, were seen as some of the best to come out of Vienna, and some of the most influential pieces for future artists coming out of the city.
In his later portraits, the work for which above all he is famous, his strategy was to retain the academic realism of his earlier work for the face and figure of the subject.
But he dissolved the rest of the image in luxuriant decoration, derived from Byzantine mosaics, Celtic design, and the Oriental textiles and ceramics that filled his studio. The effect is sumptuous, sensual, near-abstract but not too dauntingly avant-garde.
That ornament, however, tended to be filled with meaning. When Klimt died, an unfinished painting entitled The Bride was left in his studio. The right half was dominated by a semi-naked female figure.
Today, The Kiss is one of the most famous images made in the twentieth century. Frequently reproduced, it encapsulates love in a single, beautiful image. The rapt face of the woman, the protective adoration of her lover and their oblivion to everything else portray a perfect love with universal resonance; it is hardly surprising that the painting has become so popular. Now here is Klimt's use of ornament to signify sexuality more important than here, although it had been explored before in Fulfillment. The man's form is filled erect squares and rectagles, while his lover's is composed of concentric circles and spirals. The eventual outcome of such a passionate kiss could hardly be more explicit.
"I've already thought of everything possible, I've lived hundreds of lives with my thoughts." Perhaps the central sleeping figure is fantasizing possibilities for her self in the six women surrounding her. This is one possible way to account for the cloud-like oval shaped constellation of women with organic patterned scarves and gowns that is the subject of this painting. It may be a complete world in female form and organic pattern. The virgin's gown configured with many spirals metaphorically indicates fertility, continual change and the evolution of the universe.
Danae is obviously erotic. It show women from Classical myth seduced by the god Jupiter. The sleeping figure of Danae coils up to meet a fall of golden rain that symbolizes Jupiter. The parted lips and legs, the closed eyes, the rolled-down stocking on her ankle, the red hair and diaphanous purple veil are all indicative of Danae's sensual experience. Nearly a quarter of the picture surface is taken up by Danae's thighs, which makes this a highly erotic works.