Lady in White (1917/1918) by Gustav KlimtBelvedere
When Gustav Klimt unexpectedly suffered a severe stroke in January 1918, which he died from a month later, he had some paintings he had recently been working on that remained unfinished.
Some of these paintings had been partially started, such as "Portrait of a Lady in White". This painting cannot be linked to any particular portrait commission.
It is likely one of his idealized female portraits which the life model master created and gave idealistic traits in a certain way.
Such quasi-fictional portraits seemed to allow Klimt greater creative freedom. A woman's face that smiles so broadly, as in "Portrait of a Lady in White," is unusual for one of Klimt's painted portraits. However, this is often found in drawn portraits of women. Klimt often kept to the medium of pencil sketches for similar anonymous, idealized portraits. By doing so, he obviously wanted to portray a certain type of woman he felt to be particularly attractive.
Text: Österreichische Galerie Belvedere / Franz Smola
© Österreichische Galerie Belvedere