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Gustav Klimt: 100 Drawings Paperback – June 1, 1972

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Gustav Glück, director of Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum, wrote as early as 1922 of Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) that his drawings were perhaps his ultimate artistic achievement. This founder of Secessionsstil and leader of the revolt against the Viennese academies was able to achieve greater freedom in his drawings than in his more laboriously executed paintings. While there are only about two hundred completed oils, the drawings number in the thousands, and are reported to have at times quite littered his studio. He himself considered them finished works, and often exhibited them alongside his paintings.
Klimt's subject matter is almost exclusively the female body, naked or half clothed. For this he earned the reputation of erotic artist, and while he did not suffer the outright persecutions of his successors Schiele and Kokoschka, he was nevertheless subjected to the trials that a frankly erotic artist had to undergo in Vienna, where the everyday subject of conversation was the current love affairs of celebrities but where audiences were shocked by the sight of a dancer's naked legs. An issue of Ver Sacrum which reproduced one of his drawings was confiscated by the authorities.
The drawings reveal above all that concern of great draughtsmen from Michelangelo through Blake the marriage of subtle grace and expressive dynamism that is the human body. Like that of these two past masters, Klimt's method is essentially linear. He knew, as they did, that line, rather than shading, the creation of volume or the use of color, is the natural medium for expressing the freedom of the living human form. As he matured as an artist there was an increasing awareness of this and a greater and greater spontaneity that approached, finally, "the lightness of a net of gauze."
An original Dover publication (1972), reproducing 100 Klimt drawings from originals and other sources. Introduction by Alfred Werner, the Austrian-born art historian, who has published several monographs on artists of Klimt's period. List of illustrations, including titles, sources, and original sizes.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Revised ed. edition (June 1, 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486224465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486224466
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #404,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Matthew Ballou on November 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
These 100 drawings are essential for any student of Klimt's work. Given that many times it is this stage of his work that is under-represented in books on his art, this book is advantageous. I've been looking at Klimt for years, and many times I've marveled at his intuitive, initial marks; they are records of a man obsessed with obervational drawing. The drawings in this book, rarely seen, are great examples of the first and most direct marks he would use and they attest to his amazing skill. They shed light on the finished works while standing nicely on their own. Even though the works shown here represent only a minute fraction of his drawings (thousands littered his studios at any given time), these particular pieces provide a unique view of this controversial artist. A good purchase.
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By A Customer on November 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
this is an amazing book! as an amateur graphic artist, this has been an invaluable reference and inspiration to me. all of the drawings are of figures, mostly women, mostly naked. they were largely done without direction to his models while they lounged around his loft so they are very intimate, sensual, and sometimes erotic.
his style is so lucid, i can stare at the images forever. the line is so smooth and light(usually pencil, sometimes charcoal), that the images seem like stencils. the body is basically a contour drawing and then the hair is captured in typical art nouveau style, with stylized strands moving in one direction.
i can't say enough about this book. the work is so simple and stunning...when i try to relate what it means to me, i can't think of a thing to say.
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By A Customer on November 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
this is an amazing book! as an amateur graphic artist, this has been an invaluable reference and inspiration to me. all of the drawings are of figures, mostly women, mostly naked. they were largely done without direction to his models while they lounged around his loft so they are very intimate, sensual, and sometimes erotic.
his style is so lucid, i can stare at the images forever. the line is so smooth and light(usually pencil, sometimes charcoal), that the images seem like stencils. the body is basically a contour drawing and then the hair is captured in typical art nouveau style, with stylized strands moving in one direction.
i can't say enough about this book. the work is so simple and stunning...when i try to relate what it means to me, i can't think of a thing to say.
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Format: Paperback
The name of Gustav Klimt is well known both publicly and among art students and artists in practice. A bit of background for the novice: Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862- February 6, 1918) was an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism--nowhere is this more apparent than in his numerous drawings in pencil. It is this latter category that is the focus of this interesting and informative volume.

Though most people associate Klimt with the paintings of rich art nouveau depictions of women in radiant gowns often employing gold leaf to enhance the dazzle of the image, the real artistry of this artist's oeuvre is best examined by studying his drawings. Unlike his popular pupil Egon Schiele who elected to succinctly depict eroticism in his minimalistic, seemingly spontaneously executed drawings, Klimt defined details - such as faces with eyes and refined lips and associated hair depiction - with great attention to detail. These drawings are the more erotic ones produced by Klimt, but also included in this collection are images of the human form placed in positions or poses where certain aspects of the anatomy are featured in a most brilliant way. Yes, these are sensual images but they are also fine lessons in draughtsmanship for all artists and those who enjoy studying figurative representational art. This is probably the finest collection of Klimt's drawings available and there is much to admire and some fine lessons for observation for the working artists to emulate. Grady Harp, May 12
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Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic collection of Klimt's drawings, dampened by a terrible introduction. Werner reduces Klimt's work to a strictly male sexual appreciation of the female body; Werner writes "to accomplish what he did he had to be thoroughly, completely familiar with his motifs. Actually, there was only one motif: the magic thrill a man experiences on seeing a female in the nude." I guess as a woman, enjoyment of Klimts drawings is beyond me? Klimt's art is often undeniably erotic, and this is never more apparent than in some of his sketches and drawings. But to state that a sexual appeal is all there is misses the point of Klimt completely. Werner doesn't stop there though. He also writes that Klimpt "was generally surrounded by nude models while working in his atelier...this was a method rather than a whim: the girls moved around with ease, lost the awareness of his presence and allowed the master to catch unselfconscious body attitudes. Thus he could contemplate them somewhat the way and animalier would study the forms and attitudes of dumb creatures." Yes, he actually wrote that. The beauty of this book is under-served by the stunningly narrow and misogynistic introduction.

On to the art - those only passingly familiar with Klimt will know him better for his gorgeous but heavily gilded paintings, often full of symbolic geometry and gold leaf. This collection draws the focus away from metallic veneer and color and draws the viewers eye to Klimt's female subjects exclusively. His pencil renderings are loose but beautifully delineated. Klimt does draw unselfconscious women, often in attitudes of repose. He also sketches beautiful portraits, of both old and young women.
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