Monday, 12 September 2011

Klimt - Island in the Attersee

Island in the Attersee (1902) by Gustav Klimt

This painting by Gustav Klimt is one of my favourites.  It's called Island in the Attersee.  He painted more than one version - and this is the 1902 version.

I first came across it on the cover of the book about Klimt's landscapes which I currently have out of the library - see Gustav Klimt: Landscapes

I absolutely adore the colours in this work.  Colour was also incredibly important in determining the nature of Klimt's imagery.  I also love the really high horizon which is also very characteristic of his work - it plunges your focus into the way the surface of the lake looks.  It has a square format with distinct rectangular zones of colour.

The mountain lake called "Attersee" can be found in the Salzkammergut region of Austria. Klimt used to visit the small island in this lake in summer. Apparently the water is very clear and the lake is favoured by swimmers and sailors.

I wonder if this is the painting he used to hang on his wall so he could dream of summer days in the middle of winter!

I'm not drawing/painting a lot of water at the moment - which is not to say it's not one of my favourite subjects.  So I'm going to start posting work which I like which does portray water - and will maybe learn something in the process

Who's your favourite painter of water?


annie said...

As usual, Katherine, you are a walking encyclopedia. I know Klimt's paintings that are full of designs, especially the beautiful one of the embracing lovers, but I know nothing about his landscapes and they did not show up when I Googled him a few years ago. Thanks for the link, too.


vivien said...

one of my favourites too - the light is just glorious

I like his trees as well

Ewen MacDonald watercolouristanbul said...

Thanks for sharing this piece, it brightened my day..

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the topic. My favorite is Vija Celmins. Try a Google image search for starters.

shirley fachilla said...

I'm entranced by water in paintings these days, ever since a trip to Maine this August.
The Klimt painting is beautiful. Another artist who used gorgeous color to create his waterscapes is William Ritschel. I discovered him right before the Maine trip. I've never seen any of his work except in print and online but would love to.