Avenue to Schloss Kammer (1912) by Gustav KlimtBelvedere
Gustav Klimt immortalizes the charming Schloss Kammer on the Attersee in each of his five paintings showing different views of the castle. In this picture, he has decided to paint the entrance facade of the castle, with a view of the long avenue of trees leading to the castle entrance.
The magnificent avenue of trees which Klimt depicts in his painting still exists as a majestic entree to Schloss Kammer today. Specifically, it consists of an avenue of tall linden trees. Their thick foliage was depicted by the master artist in his painting in immense detail.
Through foreshortening, the rows of trees on either side greatly draw the viewer in and create depth. This was unusual for one of Klimt's landscape paintings, which instead were mostly densely composed and flat.
However, in the design of the treetops reproduced with small dabs of color in an almost pointillist manner, Klimt returns to his typical planar style. Spatial and planar sensibilities are placed in a kind of limbo, as it were.
The powerful treetops that occupy a large part of the picture create a complex, net-like structure. The most exquisite aspect is the color palette chosen by Klimt. Shadowed areas tend to be in a cool blue, while sunlit areas shine in a cool yellow-green.
Klimt evidently adopted the unusual color combination of blue, yellow, and green from the French impressionists. A groundbreaking text for their color theories was Eugène Chevreul's book on "color harmonies," published in 1878 in its German translation which Klimt likely knew about.
"Avenue in Schloss Kammer" is undoubtedly one of Klimt's most impressive landscape paintings. The avenue trees motif forming a steep escape perspective has a particular impact—just from its composition alone—which is reinforced by Klimt's special painting style.
Text: Österreichische Galerie Belvedere / Franz Smola
© Österreichische Galerie Belvedere