The Times of Day (1881) by Gustav KlimtWien Museum
This early allegory still represents a relatively conventional approach: the individual Times of Day are personified by female figures. Morning is for example symbolized by the rising sun and a crowing rooster in decorative border on the left-hand side.
The Realms of Nature (1882) by Gustav KlimtWien Museum
This work too follows conservative models; the figures are furnished with their attributes.
Youth (1882) by Gustav KlimtWien Museum
The allegory of Youth takes the form of a young woman holding a child in one arm; a young boy, accompanying himself on the mandolin, serenades the child with a song, which doubtless heralds future happiness.
Fable (1883) by Gustav KlimtWien Museum
The allegory of Fable takes the form of a young nude woman, who seems to observe the allegorical behavior of the animals in order to record it later in writing.
Idyll (1884) by Gustav KlimtWien Museum
The scene is contained in a medallion, decorated with garlands of flowers and supported by two muscular youths who seem to watch over this emblem of harmonious concord with nature.
Opera (1883) by Gustav KlimtWien Museum
Once again, the personification of Opera as a female singer, whose song is accompanied by a scantily attired man playing a lyre, corresponds to rather conventional conceptions.
Fairy Tale (1884) by Gustav KlimtWien Museum
This allegory is characterized in particular by its pronounced pathos. No specific tale can be reliably associated with this erotically connoted scene.
Love (1895) by Gustav KlimtWien Museum
In his allegory of Love, Klimt distances himself emphatically from the conventional representations of his subject for the first time. The menacing ﬁgures in the background endow the blissful love of this young couple with a melancholy note.
Junius (1896) by Gustav KlimtWien Museum
In his allegory of the month of June, for the first time the division of the pictorial field into rectangles and squares—a picture within the picture— is important to Klimt.
Sculpture (1896) by Gustav KlimtWien Museum
By presenting various busts from a range of cultures in the upper zone of the picture, Gustav Klimt undertakes a journey through the history of sculpture.
Tragedy (1897) by Gustav KlimtWien Museum
The wide collar of the main figure and the mask in its hands alludes to antiquity, the dragon can be traced back to Chinese designs.
Abridged texts from the exhibition catalogue:
Klimt. The Collection of the Wien Museum
Editor: Ursula Storch
Editing: Ursula Storch and Kerstin Krenn
301 pages, Hatje Cantz Verlag 2012, ISBN 978-3-7757-3360-1