Take an Audio Tour of Klimt's Life and Death

Look, listen, and discover Klimt's 'Life and Death' from the Leopold Museum

By Google Arts & Culture

Death and Life (1910/15) by Gustav KlimtLeopold Museum

Klimt - Detail 01
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Everything that has a beginning, has an ending.
Death is a part of life and lurks maliciously, ready to strike at any time. In this artwork, the extreme color contrasts convey a disturbing allegory of the ephemeral and cyclic nature of existence.

Klimt - Detail 02
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On the left, painted in gloomy violet-blue shades and wrapped in a long cloak of crosses and circles, death appears lonely and skeletal. 

Klimt - Detail 03
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On the right, we find life instead: a harmonious tangle of naked bodies, who are separated and brought together by geometric motifs. These motifs symbolize the magma of vital energy, where existence is depicted at every stage:

Klimt - Detail 04
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a dreaming mother with her child is surrounded by joyful girls, so to embody the magical bliss of maternity and youth. 

Klimt - Detail 05
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As their counterpart and inevitable fate, we see an old woman, looking yellow-faced and resigned. 

Klimt - Detail 06
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Whereas below a sculptural male figure holds a young woman and, at the same time, finds solace in her. The only dream of eternity we have left, the only way we can escape death, is love. 

Credits: Story

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