Klimt's Study for the Painting "The Bride"

The Bride (unfinished) (1917/18) by Gustav KlimtKlimt Foundation

Similar to the painting "The Virgin", his major work "The Bride" (1917/18)—which remained unfinished—shows a cosmic vision of states of female erotic consciousness.

In this three-part composition, Klimt illustrates female seduction on the left...

...while the middle bride embodies innocence.

The figure on the right may be seen as the bride of Death, who raises in a dance-like movement.

Seated Woman with Covered Face (Study for "The Bride") (c. 1917) by Gustav KlimtAlbertina Museum

Klimt captures the lusciously sensual model for the left group of figures with vibrating lines which almost allow the forms to dissolve.

Despite his nervous and sometimes strongly intermittent strokes, Klimt effectively accentuated the contours of certain body parts, such as the raised knee and buttocks, which stand out brightly and almost sculpturally.

The ecstatic mood of the seated figure is combined with the complex axiality of her posture. Despite her impression of weightlessness, the figure is deliberately positioned within the plane. This tension between dissolving the lines and formal discipline characterizes Klimt's later drawings and is especially effective in works in which metaphysics play a role.

Credits: Story

Albertina, Wien

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