2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

The Modern Muse: Women in the Work of Gustav Klimt
Amy M. Hall
Dr. Julia DeLancey and Dr. Sara Orel, Faculty Mentors

The shimmering women of Gustav Klimt's Modern repertoire gaze at their audience with resolute purpose. Charged with the duty of delivering Klimt's critique of fin-de-siècle Vienna, these figures become the center of his artistic commentary. This paper examines the images of women in Klimt's paintings with specific attention to their appearance as two separate female types. The artist's mysterious femme fatales with their overwhelming sexuality are contrasted sharply by the powerfully independent modern woman. An analysis of these two different forms coupled with an exploration of the real women who inspired them will demonstrate that Klimt's deliberate artistic treatment of his female figures was meant to capture the polarity of the Viennese perceptions of women. This paper will argue that through his symbolic depictions of women, Klimt personified the struggles of early twentieth-century Vienna and offered his audience a vision of Modern progress.

Keywords: Art History, Art, Women, Klimt, Vienna, Painting

Topic(s):Art - Art History
Women's and Gender Studies
Art - Studio Art

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 114-1
Location: OP 2210
Time: 8:00

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