Belvedere: Who inspired Klimt?
A spectacular new exhibition project at the Lower Belvedere compares Gustav Klimt with his most important artistic contemporaries. "Klimt. Inspired by Van Gogh, Rodin, Matisse..." shows the master of Vienna Modernism in a whole new light.
The Belvedere celebrates the 300th anniversary of the construction of the Upper Belvedere in 2023, and with the exhibition "Klimt. Inspired by Van Gogh, Rodin, Matisse..." starting February 3, 2023, offers art fans a real premiere: Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) enters into a dialog with the most important artists of his time in a whole new way. The exhibition is the result of a major research project with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, where it could previously be seen between October 2022 and January 2023. Waiting for you in the Belvedere are around 90 paintings, drawings, and sculptures by Gustav Klimt as well as the "Who's who" of Western European avant-garde art: Vincent van Gogh, Auguste Rodin, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, Edvard Munch, Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Kees van Dongen, and many others.
Exciting comparisons reveal the influences to be found in Klimt's works. On view are many paintings from the holdings of the Belvedere, which houses the biggest collection of Klimt paintings in the world (24), as well as top-class loan pieces. Works were selected that have been shown to inspire the master of Vienna Modernism. This makes it easy to identify the overlaps and deviations. Klimt himself was not actively involved in the creative processes in Paris and other western European centers of avant-garde art. Rather, he and his fellow travelers Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, and others saw to it that Vienna around 1900 blossomed all by itself. However, he evidently found pleasure in other artists and grappled with various works – in exhibitions and collections in Vienna, during his many foreign trips or through reproductions in publications.
A long period of preparation precedes the exhibition. The topic has been undergoing meticulously preparation in a joint research project between the Belvedere and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam since 2015. They managed to reconstruct which of his colleagues' works Klimt could actually have known. Large exhibition venues like the Secession were investigated, as were less-known institutions, private collections, and periodicals like "Ver Sacrum".
Today we know that Klimt's style was constantly changed and developed by diverse influences. The exhibition shows the master of Vienna Modernism in a whole new light. Because the comparison with artistic colleagues facilitates an exciting discourse. A real blockbuster!
Klimt. Inspired by Van Gogh, Rodin, Matisse...
Unteres Belvedere & Orangerie