Zoom Into Klimt's 'Poppy Field'

By Belvedere

Flowering Poppies (1907) by Gustav KlimtBelvedere

During his stay in Litzlberg on the Attersee in the summer of 1907, Klimt discovered a magnificent poppy-filled meadow which he captured in the painting "Poppy Field." The meadow extends across almost the entire surface of the painting.

Narrow fruit trees protrude from the meadow, but their shapes merge so strongly with the grass and flowers that their outlines are barely visible to the observer.

It is only at the top of the picture where it is possible to get a view of the landscape in the background and a narrow strip of sky.

For the painting style of this magnificent meadow scene, Klimt made use of a technique that is unmistakably reminiscent of French pointillism. During this time, French and Belgian pointillism paintings were also very popular in Vienna.

Pointillist works could regularly be seen in the Vienna Secession around 1900. Paintings by Théo van Rysselberghe were exhibited in 1899, followed by works by Paul Signac in 1900. And the great impressionism exhibition of 1903 displayed several major works by Georges Seurat.

However, the pointillist spots of color by Klimt contribute less toward color synthesis, which is based on strict methodology. Klimt's specks and dots act more as a welcome means of achieving an ornamental effect.

For example, Klimt still depicts the large poppy and daisy flowers in the foreground in a very naturalistic way.

It is only when moving backward that they increasingly turn into specks of color. The shape of Klimt's color spots therefore differs according to the spatial distance of the motifs.

Credits: Story

Text: Österreichische Galerie Belvedere / Franz Smola

© Österreichische Galerie Belvedere

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