L'arbre de vie de gustav klimt

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The Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt

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What is the tree of life?

The Tree of Life is a sacred symbol in many religions and its origin dates back a long time. It is often depicted as a tree with tree-like roots and branches. A magnificent allegory of the force of life and its origins! The presence of roots is a reminder of the importance of personal development.

At first glance, it is cited in many religions and traditions, such as Christianity, Judaism or even in Indian and Egyptian culture.

This spiritual symbol has been represented many times throughout history. The Austrian painter Gustav Klimt shows us the example with his work "Waiting, the Tree of Life, Accomplishment". Where in his fresco, we see the tree in question thus evoking the cycle of life.

The table in question is on the right of the poster below:

Gustav Klimt tree of life painting collection

But who is Gustav Klimt?

A 19th century artist, born in 1862, belonging to the Art Nouveau movement and the Vienna Secession. He created numerous works, such as “Judith I”, “Danaé” and “The Tree of Life” and won numerous awards. He notably won the Gold Medal at the 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris.

A richness of decoration and striking coloring characterizes his work. Moreover, the different mythologies, notably Greek and Egyptian, and Byzantine art are his main sources of inspiration!

At the end of his career, the painter developed a loyal bourgeois clientele who placed numerous orders with him. Thus, his works change, he draws naked women, sensual and erotic portraits. He is the inventor of decorative art, but his palette darkens and his works tarnish after the death of his mother.

Shortly after this tragic event, he painted “Portrait of a Lady”. This portrait is, contrary to Klimt's habits, expressionist.

The circumstances of his death still differ; they differ depending on the work, he died in 1918 in Vienna where he was buried, leaving behind numerous unfinished works.

tree of life painting gustav klimt

The Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt:

A Belgian banker commissions a set of wall mosaics from Klimt to be displayed in the dining room of his luxurious palace that he is building in Brussels . We find Klimt's decorative creativity exploding in The Waiting and in The Accomplishment, which he created for this rich man.

At the center of these two works, “The Tree of Life” illustrates the cycle of an entire life, representing the passage from the beginning to the end of the cycle of life.

Gustav Klimt opts for more or less particular foliage, he replaces the leaves with spirals, a metaphor for the eternal cycle of life. The trunk separates into seven branches. The seven branches of the Tree of Life reflect the seven energy centers of the human body, also called chakras.

Looking more closely at the tree, one can notice what appear to be Egyptian decorations, such as Cleopatra's eye which is depicted several times in the fresco, as well as a black bird perched on a branch, which may be a representation of the messenger of death ready to take everything to the final stage which is death.

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