Klimpt and The Belvedere in Vienna

Aghast and Overwhelmed by Vienna’s Top Son and artist!

Second day in Vienna and the plan is to walk to the Belvedere and enjoy the city as much and possible. Weather favourable, still fresh and with enough energy to do the one thing any tourist should be doing when visiting a beautiful city. Walk, admire, enjoy and have fun!

No worries there, no problems of time. The whole day to see more of the city and end at the Belvedere and see the work of one artist,

Gustav Klimpt

The Belvedere houses the best Gustav Klimpt work in Austria and in the world. His art is as distinctive and unique as any artist you have seen and looked at carefully. Lovely impressionist art that surpasses the art of the Impressionists in its uniqueness and human emotions and passions that surpass the strength of words to describe and praise enough. To even try to describe any of his work, I will refrain from. What I think I will try to do here is to express my feelings once I stood opposite some of his extraordinary work that influenced immensely the other prodigious son of Austria Egon Schiele.

The entrance to the museum is nothing to talk about but once inside you are welcome by an unexpected giant that fits nowhere in the museums other art and reputation for art of the late 19th century to early 20th century. I stood looking, I kept looking trying to recognise the artist but it was not possible; so many of them at the same silly images I would think, that makes me think art has degenerated and gone to the the lunatic asylum of human creativity!

Beyond me to see why a piece of art such as this stands welcoming you in the Museum that holds the best Klimpts in the world. Please help me if you can, as I am helpless!

I go close to the monster or shall I say monstrosity of Jeff Koons, Incredible Hulk is it?. the American artist. Yes, that is the artist if memory serves me right. So memorable these things are these days that one forgets and for good measure I ask my wife to take a photo of me next to the monumental work. I look again. Is it plastic, is it a balloon or what and I dare ..

Do not get angry man!! You will change into this monster; keep calm, smile and laugh!!

Yes, I dare touch and the guard is immediately upon me! Please do not touch!! Taboo but I broke it like the proverbial peasant going into bed with his boots on. I cannot enjoy sweets by looking all the time thus the touch is as important as the looking. Smooth, heavy and I guess resin, plaster painted over in a cartoonist manner!! Well done Mr Koons, impressive but….

Why do you get angry then?

I do not feel any association with the piece nor with the artist. It does not speak to me, it does not inspire me, it cannot get in me and make me a better person, which I feel other art does in a very strong and powerful way at times!! Apologies to Mr Koons but this is an honest person writing his own impressions and feelings! Perhaps, I do not get angry these days and thus I cannot appreciate Hulk a lot!! Am I too old for that, I wonder!

Regardless of my own feelings and own prejudices the artist is sending us a clear message and a strong one that is. Do not get angry as you change and you look like a monster. Who says even modern art cannot convey messages of high value!! Do not get angry, be happy!!

Thus up to the first floor of the Belvedere. I must admit the Palace, I think it was a palace in its early days is not so spectacular for a palace or something like that. Guards all over the building looking and checking for everything and everybody. Click goes my camera and I take the photo of an impressive Schiele before the guard stops me with a firm ” No photos please!

The Egon Schiele work stopped me in my tracks indeed. I did not see any similar image in the Leopold Museum. Enormous in size but humongous in messages to man and his destiny on the planet!

This painting is indeed humanity at its best. It could easily be in a church and people will appreciate its piety, its strength of mother and children united as one. Mother at the centre of the universe and children the future and present of humanity. The artist did not paint just, he created messages of human ideals that all of us embrace and cherish;

Motherhood, Childhood hope and happiness in our world!!

The painting stops me in my tracks as I wanted to photograph some of these paintings in the museum; nevertheless, here is the only one I took inside the galleries. I will try to convey feelings in writing with No images. Is it like eating caviar but by looking at an image?

Gustav Klimpt The Star of Vienna’s Art Scene

The feast in Klimpt’s art is hugely anticipated and expected to be really rewarding and stimulating not just for any art lover but any body who loves beautiful romantic images!

Gustav Klimpt was not just an artist and a teacher of important artists. He was the symbol. he is the symbol of Vienna of the 1900s and as such his work lacks nothing. It is so contemporary. it is so popular and so revered everywhere in the world.

I do not remember the order of the paintings but I will start with the impressionists art of the artist. I find it so much unique and so much similar and yet very different to the Impressionists of Paris.

I waited for a long time to see the Klimpts of the museum but the reward was so much bigger after seeing some of his work at auction here in London. Distinct, unique and shouting the style and unique impressionism of the artist. It is so beautiful and so attractive. Even though so busy and so much details characterises it, it is not causing you headaches and confusion but desire to see more, to go closer and see how he applied the paint to the canvas.

While the Parisan artist stuck their heads and guns with Impressionism in order to be vindicated and revered since 1980s, in Vienna Klimpt seems to have been the artist accepted and the artist recognised immediately either we are talking about garden Impressionist art as above or The Kiss. The paintings of Klimpt are magical and shout quality, mastery and uniqueness all over. Impressionism was known but not Klimpt style impressionism. Great art and I loved it.

The Kiss

Klimpt’s figurative paintings, even though symbolic, seem like psychedelic puzzles and surpass anything any other artist produced and anything I have seen in physical shape for so many years. I have seen some Klimpts at auction but nothing like The Kiss. This is the painting you stand and look at, you see and see many times and as many times as you could possibly see, it is still not enough. I do not know what is so attractive and so magical about this painting but that was the case.

In my eyes and my own interpretation of the art is a modern iconography of old master art and iconography. Icon images full of gold, the sincerity of the kiss, the saint like leaning of the figures and the impression that this is my first kiss and I am not ready yet and yet, it is The Kiss!!

Great piece of art!!

The museum is full of great art by Klimt and that I appreciated as much as Schiele’s art, which I must admit drew me closer and attracted me more but.. Hey, we are talking about two giants of Modern Art, who in my view stand way apart from many including the biggest names of twentieth century artists!!

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