Farm Garden with Sunflowers (1907) by Gustav KlimtBelvedere
Gustav Klimt always chose close-ups from nature in his landscape paintings. In his search for suitable motifs, he liked to use a self-made square frame made of cardboard which helped him find the best possible detail.
In this painting of a rural flower garden, which he found during his summer stay on the shore of the Attersee, a variety of flowers crowd a narrow space and reach the very edges of the picture. Klimt has painted these with great precision and detail.
Due to the closeness of this detail, the landscape loses any sense of depth. The horizon and the sky are hidden. This allows Klimt to translate the spatial depth onto a two-dimensional picture surface, making the motifs appear as carefully elaborated flat patterns.
Even his fellow painters noticed this similarity to ornamental craft work. As writer Hermann Bahr reports, German painter Max Liebermann stated that Viennese painting was not about paintings, but painted carpets!
Text: Österreichische Galerie Belvedere / Franz Smola
© Österreichische Galerie Belvedere