Gustav Klimt - The Golden Knight 1903

Gustav Klimt - The Golden Knight 1903
The Golden Knight
1903 100x100cm oil, tempera, and gold leaf / on canvas
Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Nagoya

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From Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art:
This work was first shown in the 18th Secession Exhibition held as the Klimt retrospective. Klimt espoused a new form of art as president of the Secession and had exposed himself to public criticism with his paintings for Vienna University. He had been engaged in numerous battles, as the title suggests, as the leader of a new art movement in turn-of-the-century Vienna. The setting of the battle is not on this earth but in a sensual paradise imagined by an artist growing more and more reclusive. This work indicates a great psychological change taking place inside the artist. It is a final manifesto of Klimt's artistic position. Gold leaf is boldly used to create a decorative effect. The painting reflects Klimt's part in the Vienne Werkstatte which attempted to make the arts a part of life, breaking down the barriers between the pure arts of painting, sculpture and the applied arts.