Death And The Maiden By Gustav Klimt

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This essay convenes the work of two Austrian artists, Gustav Klimt and his former student Egon Schiele. Both twentieth century artists and both independent in their style, their work together embodies common idiosyncrasies. The two share many qualities in their work, especially a kind of anxiety. Although stylistically, Klimt 's work is formally ordered and decorative while Schiele 's work is unforgiving in its brutality. An example that displays this duality in their work and similar compositions are Klimt’s The Kiss and Schiele’s Death and the Maiden.
Austrian painter Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) was born in Vienna. Klimt was noted for the erotic quality of his highly decorative art. His style was perceived as rebellious of the traditional academic
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The shapes of the figures are clinging in an embrace. The figures appear to mimic the shapes of the hill-like forms that surround them. The rising curve of the man 's back seems to mimic the upward rising of the hilly geological formation in the right of the composition. They seem to float above the hills, on a piece of white fabric. The figures themselves are what can be considered an essence of Schiele- with their slightly awkward boniness and tapering fingers. The embrace between the figures seems to be strangely unsatisfactory. The man 's stare is blank and disinterested and appears to be disengaged from the embrace. The dramatically elongated arm of hers is rendered thin and strange. Meanwhile, the background is engaged with a lack of perspective, rendering the painting somewhat …show more content…
Schiele paints Death and the Maiden (Figure 2) with underlying layers of rancor. Although The Kiss (Figure 1) has lines that are lineated and present, they are not used in the same way as Death and the Maiden. Schiele uses harsh and emphatic lines in this piece that accentuates the brutality of emotion. The elongation of the woman 's arm, and the obscure, eerie representation of the man’s face exudes ferocity and ruthlessness in its harshness. All whilst remaining painterly and expressive. Klimt approaches The Kiss in a formally ordered and decorative attack. He groups together the man and the woman as one shape on the canvas. He anchors them to the bottom of the composition with the grassy patch of flowers. And the background remains enigmatic yet constant. The clothing that the couple is engulfed in is painted in a decorative manner. It is reminiscent of patterned cloth one may buy in a craft store. The patch of flowers exemplifies the

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