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In the 1890s, Klimt painted a variety of commissioned male portraits. At the time, he would create several male studies, among which was The Blind Man. Male portraits are rare in Klimt’s oeuvre – none can be found in his later work. The fact that Klimt included this among four more paintings in the first Secession exhibition is proof that he attributed a high level of artistic value to the work. In the same year, the picture was published in a special issue of the Ver Sacrum magazine, which was dedicated to the second Secession exhibition. Klimt poses the blind man in a dusky side light, transforming the deep ridges and sunken cheeks into traits of suffering. And yet, this aged man with his wonderful shock of white hair lives on in a body with a dignified bearing. Loose gestural brushstrokes and the soft, partially diffused application of paint stand in direct contrast with the precise and almost photorealistic painting style, a feature of Klimt’s works at the time.

Details

  • Title: Blind Man
  • Creator: Gustav Klimt
  • Date Created: 1896
  • Physical Dimensions: w53.2 x h66.0 cm (Without Frame)
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: Leopold Museum, Vienna / Image by Google
  • External Link: Leopold Museum, Vienna
  • Technique: Oil on canvas
  • Inv. no.: LM 4144

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