Exhibitions and Installations, J. Paul Getty Museum, Prints and Drawings

Gustav Klimt, Draftsman

Gustav Klimt did not speak about his art, but he left many drawings that attest to the richness of his creative process. Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line, opening today at the Getty Center, coaxes these drawings to speak, revealing how he thought and worked.

Klimt drew daily and obsessively from life. He hired models to come to his studio, where he posed and reposed them, making study after study to work out postures, gestures, and expressions. In his drawings, Klimt explored the human form in every age, every stage: infant, youth, pregnant, mature, aged—even after death, as skeleton. There are wrestlers, women of society, lovers, mothers, gorgons.

Many of the drawings in the show are studies for Klimt’s better-known paintings, and the exhibition shows how these works—hard, now, to imagine any other way—evolved. Adele Bloch-Bauer makes several appearances in flowing studies of pose and expression. One drawing of an embracing couple shows a hungry abandon, another a still tenderness; both were made in connection with his iconic painting The Kiss.

Klimt was a painstaking and slow painter, but a swift and decisive draftsman. These fluid, immediate works on paper reveal how he used line to explore his great subject, the human condition.

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      everyartisthasabday:

      Botticelli’s Mystical Nativity was hidden for many centuries. Once found, it earned its name from both the unusual Nativity symbolism and Greek inscription at the top.

      Boticelli believed he was living through the Tribulation, which is clear in the mysterious inscription:

      This picture, at the end of the year 1500, in the troubles of Italy, I Alessandro, in the half-time after the time, painted, according to the eleventh chapter of Saint John, in the second woe of the Apocalypse, during the release of the devil for three-and-a-half years; then he shall be bound in the twelfth chapter and we shall see [him buried] as in this picture.

      It is the only surviving work with his signature.

      03/02/15

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