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

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

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

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

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

Klimt - Detail 05

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

Klimt - Detail 06

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

Text and audio by eArs ▬ making arts & culture a place for everybody 

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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