From 1900, alongside allegories and portraits, Klimt discovered landscapes to be a preferred theme for his paintings. The tradition of staying in Salzkammergut each summer was extremely helpful in creating these landscape paintings. Klimt traveled to the Attersee each year for a few weeks in July and August in the company of his life partner Emilie Flöge and her family. The charming summer landscape on the lake shore provided the master artist with countless motifs for his landscape paintings. In addition, Klimt also had plenty of time for hikes and excursions. Emilie Flöge, who ran a highly successful fashion salon in Vienna together with her sisters, also showed off some of her self-designed fashion creations on the Attersee. For an essay on dress designs from the Flöge sisters' fashion salon which he photographed for the magazine "Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration" (German Design and Decoration), Klimt posed Emilie Flöge in reform-style dresses in this garden in the summer of 1906. Emilie Flöge in her long summer dresses appears strikingly similar in terms of her contours to the sunflower placed prominently in the center of this current excerpt of a meadow landscape. Art journalist Ludwig Hevesi seems to confirm this impression, writing that Klimt's sunflower appears "like a love-struck fairy, whose greenish-gray garment flows down with passionate tremors." Based on these fashion shots, the design of the sunflower can be directly linked to Emilie Flöge on a metaphorical level. The self-contained portrayal of the beautiful-yet-lonely flower could correspond to the lifelong relationship between herself and Klimt that was never defined.
Klimt was constantly changing nature into an iridescent cosmos of colors and shapes. Here, nature appears detached from impermanence, permeated with a sense of eternal harmony. In these works we can also see the sublime figure of Eros, who sought to create an untarnished, heavenly world.


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