From 7 October 2022 to 8 January 2023 the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam presents “Golden Boy Gustav Klimt“, the largest retrospective of Klimt’s work ever organised in the Netherlands.
Source: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam. Image: Gustav Klimt, ‘Water Serpents II’, 1904, reworked 1906-1907, oil on canvas, 80 × 145 cm, private collection, courtesy of HomeArt.
Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) and Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) are two of the world’s most popular artists, and their enormous influence on modern and contemporary art is beyond doubt. As such, an exhibition of the work of Gustav Klimt -whose works are rarely loaned for exhibitions- organised at the Van Gogh Museum -one of the most visited museums in Europe despite its relatively modest size- looks set to become one of the most popular art events of the year.
The exhibition, according to the Van Gogh Museum, “presents internationally famous works by Klimt alongside the work of other renowned artists including Vincent van Gogh, Whistler, Sargent, Toorop, Monet, Rodin, Toulouse-Lautrec and Matisse. The exhibition shows how Klimt drew inspiration from this art, before making equally captivating art in a style completely his own (…) ‘Golden Boy Gustav Klimt’ transports visitors to the turbulent times in which Klimt lived and charts his impressive career. The stories behind the paintings and the people figuring in them also play a role: who were they, why did Klimt paint them, and what was the relationship between the painter and his model?“
Images: Gustav Klimt, “Judith”, oil on canvas, 84 x 42 cm, 1901, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere · Gustav Klimt, “Adele Bloch-Bauer II”, oil on canvas, 190 x 120 cm, 1912, Private Collection
The retrospective includes works from all stages of Klimt’s career, from early works such as the classical portrait of the pianist Pembaur from his early years (1890) to mature works such as “Adele Bloch-Bauer II” (1912) and “Eugenia Primavesi” (1913), which the Van Gogh Museum defines as “two explosions of colour inspired by Van Gogh and Matisse“.
Among the works included in the exhibition are two extraordinary loans. “Judith” (1901) is, despite its small size, one of the most iconic images created by Klimt, and is sometimes considered the painting that inaugurated his “Golden Period“. “Water Serpents II” (1904), one of the finest works Klimt created during this “Golden Period“, is one of the most expensive paintings ever sold, and of course one of the most valuable paintings in private hands (as is the aforementioned “Adele Bloch-Bauer II“). The spectacular painting is on public display for the first time since 1960.