Water Castle

Let's dive deep into an incredible painting by Gustav Klimt

Muzeum: National Gallery Prague


Vodní zámek (Zámek Kammer u Attersee I.) (1908-09/1908-09), autor: Gustav KlimtNational Gallery Prague

Klimt most often found the landscape motifs for his paintings during his summer sojourns. In 1900–1916, he and his partner Emilie Flöge, a fashion designer from Vienna, spent their summers near Lake Attersee in the state of Salzburg. During these sojourns, Klimt painted eleven landscape paintings with a lake theme, including four variants with Kammer Chateau.

Water Castle (1908–1909) is one of them. For Klimt, sojourns in nature meant liberation from cultural and political strife in Vienna. Klimt painted on square canvases. Trees, flowers and building facades were always situated on the far bank of the lake, always without people.

Water Castle employs the muted colours of the painter’s earlier compositions.

The contrast between the bulk of the real objects in the painting’s upper part and their reflection in the water is one of this work’s most striking charms.

The German Department of the Modern Gallery purchased the painting in 1910 from the Deutschbohmischer Kunstlerbund exhibition in the Rudolfínum Gallery for 500 crowns.

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Olga Kotková
Curator of the Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art
National Gallery Prague

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