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Klimt at the Kunsthistorisches Museum / 19.02.2012
The Kunsthistorisches Museum is mounting an exhibition dedicated to Klimt’s intermediate period – 1886 to 1897 – during the 2012 anniversary year.
The 13 major paintings completed by Klimt for the grand staircase of the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the sketches they were based on are the focal point of the show. After the "Künstler-Compagnie" - Gustav, together with his brother Ernst Klimt and Franz Matsch - had been commissioned in 1886 to complete the ceiling paintings at the Burgtheater, in 1890 the group of artists were entrusted with creating spandrel paintings and other narrow pieces to fill the spaces between the columns lining the grand staircase of the Kunsthistorisches Museum.
While Ernst Klimt and Franz Matsch kept to a more conservative style, the first signs of Art Nouveau symbolism can be clearly seen in Gustav Klimt's pictures. These key paintings set the stylistic tone for Klimt's world-famous work from about 1900 onwards.
Klimt's sketches for these paintings last went on show in Zurich in 1992. Loan pieces from the Kunsthistorisches Museum and various other collections illustrate the genesis of the works, explain the choices behind the images used and help to contextualize the works within the artist's wider portfolio. In 2012 the Kunsthistorisches Museum will offer guided tours of the exhibition, as well as Klimt themed tours of the grand staircase all year round. The spandrels and intercolumnular pictures can be viewed at any time as part of a visit to the museum.
For the duration of the exhibition, a twelve-meter-high bridge has been set up in the staircase so visitors can see Klimt's paintings up close.
Gustav Klimt at the Kunsthistorisches Museum
February 14 – May 6, 2012
Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum)
more information: www.wien.info