Happy Friday friends!!
As Klimt got older and experienced sadness in his personal life, is style of painting began to change. Earlier, he painted historical themes--beautiful, yet straightforward works of art. However, he stepped away from that and began to paint symbolically. He explored psychology, and he wanted to paint more pictures of women.
Symbolism is when one object or thing stands in the place of something else, such as an idea, another object, a person, or a place.
Psychology is the study of the mind, it's thought, feelings and behavior.
In 1897, a group of artists got together in in Vienna, Austria and formed a new group, the Vienna Secessionists. These artists had had enough of mainstream art and were tired of looking at and painting realistic scenes in the same style that had been used throughout history.
They wanted something fresh. They wanted to use symbols in their art, just like Klimt! Klimt joined this group of artists and began to explore this new way of painting. He began to paint more images of women, but he also painted landscapes!
In 1908, Klimt left the Vienna Secession movement and began to work on a new type of painting in which he used gold leaf. Do you think this had something to do with his father and brother's profession as gold engravers? Maybe he was paying tribute to his family!
These paintings are what Klimt is most famous for now. It took a lot of patience and and a steady hand to apply tiny bits of gold leaf to his paintings. What do you think of these paintings? Do you like these more or less than his landscape above? Why?
Above: Adele Bloch-Bauer I
Left: The Kiss
The Tree of Life
Take a look at Gustav Klimt's painting, The Tree of Life. Grab a pen and paper and get ready to answer a few questions about this painting..
1. Pretend you were trying to describe this painting to your friend who could not see it. What would you tell them?
2. What are three unusual things that you notice about this painting?
3. What do you think this painting is about?
4. What could the tree symbolize?
5. What other objects and symbols can you find?
6. How does it make you feel? Why?
What would your tree of life look like?
- 3 colors of paint in that go well together
- Sturdy paper, card stock, or cardboard
- Black permanent marker
- Gold paint or marker if you have it!
With a black permanent marker, make a tree trunk part of the way up the paper and fill it in. Think about the directions you want your branches to go. Look at trees outside, or at Klimt's Tree of Life for inspirations! See how they curl and and wave, and how the smaller branches extend from the larger ones? Notice how some of his branches reach the edges of the painting and seem to keep going beyond what we can see. If you have gold paint, gold tape or glitter glue, add that to your branches!
Add symbols that represent your life. These symbols could be for your name, to represent your family or a favorite activity, or something that you love!