Museums and Art

Beethoven Frieze, Gustav Klimt - description of the painting

Beethoven Frieze, Gustav Klimt - description of the painting


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Beethoven Frieze - Gustav Klimt. Casein paint, plaster, gilding, wall painting

The amazingly brilliant work of Gustav Klimt - the panel “Beethoven Frieze”, was written for the fourth exhibition of the Secession.

At that time, Beethoven’s music was undergoing a second rebirth, like no other was in tune with the spirit of the time, and with the mood of art nouveau, a modernist trend in art. Before the exhibition, it was announced that it would be dedicated to this particular composer. Artists and sculptors with enthusiasm were ready to pay tribute to the genius of classicism.

Klimt devoted his huge work, more than 34 meters long, to the author’s last and most brilliant symphony - the Ninth, and he managed the impossible, namely, to translate sound into color.

The first three parts of the symphony are focused on the struggle, where the dark forces oppose the light with all their fury and drama, but the last part proclaims the final victory of good - “Beatoven called it Ode to Joy,” referring to Schiller’s text, first including the choir in symphonic music.

To create a grandiose panel, Klimt as Beethoven sought new means of expression and was very successful. The painting was painted with casein paints on plaster, using mirror fragments, nails and even precious stones. Thus, the painter was the forerunner of the collage technique, which will find its development much later.

It is very difficult to assess the scale of this work on reproduction, panels can be attributed to those works which, only having seen firsthand, can be fully understood and appreciated, and in this case also heard.


Watch the video: Dr. Tobias G. Natter discusses Klimt and Rodin meeting over Klimts Beethoven Frieze in 1902 (July 2022).


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