- Author: Gustav Klimt
- Museum: Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna
- Year: 1905-1909 ⇐ Click image for larger version
Description of the picture:
The tree of life is Gustav Klimt. 1905-1909. Cardboard for frieze in the palace Stokle, Brussels. Canvas, oil. 102 x 138.8
The Tree of Life is the central part of a triptych panel painted to decorate a dining room in the Stole Palace in Brussels. Unlike the two side parts, the center is devoid of large figures, only a dark bird attracts attention here. The picture is made in the characteristic for the artist "patchwork" style with a predominance of bright cheerful golden color.
The tree of life is an image characteristic of the mythology of most nations. Such a motive is present in Slavic legends and in ancient Scandinavian sagas. Tree Igdrasil, like many other images similar to him, symbolizes life in all its manifestations. Its roots are our past, ancestors, history, all that humanity has accumulated over the millennia of its existence. The trunk is a real, momentary moment, a solid foundation for the existence of all people. Branches and fruits are the future, our descendants who will continue the race and life itself. This is a three-dimensional philosophical concept, which found a virtuoso reflection in the picture of Klimt. The dark bird, painted in dark colors, is an uninvited guest at the celebration of life, Death, which always arrives unexpectedly.
The plot of the picture can be correlated with the oldest biblical story about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This large-scale and global idea was embodied in many works of various artists, but only Klimt managed to brilliantly realize this idea, embodying it in the form of a rich, spectacular work that serves as a real decoration of the palace.
The canvas is striking in its decoration. The whimsical pattern of smoothly rounded shoots creates a special whirling, spiraling rhythm, which only emphasizes the basic idea of the canvas - eternity and infinity of existence. The figurative thinking of Klimt prompted him to a surprisingly showy and decorative image with a deep meaning. The picture is both lyrical and full of symbolism. The rich gold color scheme makes the panel extremely elegant, spectacular and memorable.
This picture was the last major order received by the artist, so it can be considered the pinnacle of his skill. Despite the fact that at one time many people did not understand the Freudian motifs of his work, these days Klimt is one of the very popular artists who are ahead of their time and have become role models. Triptych with the central part of the "Tree of Life" and now amazes the imagination and for a long time attracts attention with its global idea and unique refined embodiment.
Other pictures of Gustav Klimt
Portrait of Friderika Maria Beer
Portrait of Margaret Stoneboro-Wittgenstein
Three age women
Portrait of Serena Lederer
Joseph Lewinsky as Don Carlos
Unterach, manor on the lake Attersee
Judith and Holofernes head
Death and life
Portrait of Sonny Knips
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