Gustav Klimt's 'Fritza Riedler' speaks for the middle class |  Gulf newspaper

Gustav Klimt’s ‘Fritza Riedler’ speaks for the middle class | Gulf newspaper

Sharjah: Othman Hassan
Gustav Klimt (1862 – 1918) is considered one of the most brilliant Austrian artists ever. He was also influenced by Japanese art and styles.
At the beginning of his artistic career, he succeeded in drawing many architectural decorations in a traditional way. As he began to develop his artistic style, he became subject to controversy, which culminated when the paintings he completed in 1900 were criticized for the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna, and later he achieved resounding success with paintings using gold and decorative reliefs.
Klimt’s fame came from the excellence of his works that combine expressive and symbolic style, especially the symbolism of decoration. For art historians, he is one of the pillars of art schools in the world, and he was again, and did not adhere to classicism, and he moved away from academic tendency and excelled in dispelling the differences between the spirit of applied art and plastic modernity.

One of the important paintings in Gustav Klimt’s biography is one entitled “Fritza Riedler”, one of his first drawings of the Austrian mechanical engineer’s wife, Alois Riedler, painted by Klimt in 1906, and Fritza for Gustav is a woman who expresses the wealth and status of the growing middle class in Vienna, and he highlighted her in a pale dress , and appeared with the appearance of a formidable and civilized woman, and the painting is preserved today in the Gallery «Ostreszeche» in Vienna.
The painting is considered one of the mature drawings of the artist. It has been said that the sofa cloth in the painting is inspired by the pharaonic cloth, which is the same as what appears in the wall behind the head of the lady, and there is something like an aura surrounding her as it appears in many religious icons and drawings.
The picture of “Fritza Riedler” has an unknown story, as art critics and historians fail to find an accurate description of the reasons behind this work, yet the painting is an eclectic work of art that highlights the beauty of women, along with the style of Klimt for which he is known.
The painting shows a standing woman with dominant features, her head slightly tilted, staring away, a bourgeois Austrian, like the classic Klimt models, with rosy cheeks accentuating the woman’s fair complexion, with dark arched eyebrows, and thick, colorful hair. The color used in the painting is a light orange shade, blending naturally with the rest of the painting’s components, and the woman is wearing a luxurious white dress, dipped in layers of silk from neck to toe.
Gustave showed the woman’s neckline in a narrow sheath of fabric, hugging her shoulders and draping the fabric in a simple white and gray fabric, flowing into the colorful ruffles at the sleeve.

In the middle of the woman’s chest are silver-coloured stones, and on the sides of her sleeves a richer material appears. The rest of the dress flows in white and gray towards the woman’s feet. The dress is clearly made up of a series of layers, a delicate detailing task accomplished by Klimt, who made sure to highlight his muse standing upright in the photo, as if accentuating her entire body. The sofa is in white and gold, swirls, curves, and swirls throughout the fabric, and this design expresses Klimt’s classic mosaic style.

In the painting, Klimt pays attention to detail, by adding small squares, and also changed the texture of the wall behind the woman by adding two more colors to the left of the painting.
In the upper left of the painting, Klimt added a bright orange colored area corrugated and paired with a bronze texture area underneath. He also used the technique of sponge to illustrate the bronze texture, and this led to creating a sense that the painting belongs to the countryside, and the woman’s long dress appears as if she was sitting on a lavender carpet, and the painting, according to art historians, is one of the most successful methods of modern art at Klimt.
Klimt painted hundreds of works. In 1894, he was assigned a plastic triptych to decorate the ceiling of the Magna Hall at the University of Vienna, to be an allegorical representation of three faculties: the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Philosophy, and the Faculty of Medicine.
Klimt was subjected to many harsh criticisms for his methods, but nevertheless, in the eyes of critics he was real and realistic, and he wanted to express in his paintings what he was thinking. His style caused his material loss, which accompanied him for a long time, but he remained faithful to his art until his last breath.
Art historians point to a group of influences that contributed to distinguishing Klimt’s style, including Greek, Egyptian and Byzantine arts, as well as Albrecht Dürer’s engravings, European painting in the late Middle Ages, as well as Japanese arts. On the interior of man, and confirms the “freedom” of art and its independence from traditional culture.

In 1876 Klimt was awarded a scholarship at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, where he taught until 1883, receiving training as an architectural painter. He appreciated the most prominent painter of the time, Hans Makart. In 1877, he, his brother Ernst, and their friend Franz Mach began working together, and by 1880 he founded the Artists’ Company, helping to paint murals at the Vienna Museum.
By 1890 Klimt and his companions became famous throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and he and his companions had previously been commissioned with his companions to decorate the country villa of Empress Elisabeth, near Vienna.
In 1888, Klimt and his comrades were awarded the Gold Service Medal, and commissioned to paint the ballroom at the old Burgtheater theatre, a work that would bring him to the height of his fame. This drawing, distinguished by its pictorial accuracy, is one of the greatest achievements in natural painting. As a result, Klimt was awarded the Emperor’s Prize and became a modern portrait painter and a leading artist of his time.

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