Monday, August 16, 2010

Klimt's virgins in a bed of flowers

The Virgin, also known as Die Jungfrau, is a symbolist Gustav Klimt painting. It depicts a group of women lying together intertwined on a bed of flowers. The main subject of the painting, The virgin, is lying in the center of the group, with her neck bend in an almost impossible angle.

The painting exudes the sensuality that was among Klimt’s calling cards. He further put his own sense into this by modeling the face of the Virgin after that of his own partner Emilie Flöge. The women are all covered in fabrics covered in numerous symbols and signs. As in many of his other paintings, Klimt uses mainly round shapes for symbolize the female and female sexuality.

The area surrounding the flowerbed is lost in a sort of darkness in the background. However, there is no menacing qualities to this darkness. Rather, it seems as if the surroundings have been kept out in order to focus our attention completely on the scene in front of us. While not exactly filled with warm colors, and with some contracts in place between the white skin of the women and the surroundings, the painting never the less offers a balanced palette that is easy on the eyes. It is harmonious and it is beautiful, while still retaining plenty of deeper messages through the use of numerous symbols. It is among my favorite works of Klimt and is a great choice for an oil painting reproduction.

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