This Bloomberg headline caught my eye because of the pertinence of its subject matter to this blog. I am always amazed at the tortured syntax of Bloomberg headlines, too.
(Apr 21, 2011) The Austrian province of Salzburg said it will return a landscape by Gustav Klimt to the heir of a Jewish woman who was murdered by the Nazis, after research showed the artwork was looted from her apartment by the Gestapo.
The oil-on-canvas landscape, “Litzlberg am Attersee” (Litzlberg on the Attersee), is “one of the best and most valuable masterpieces” in Salzburg’s Museum of Modern Art, the provincial government said in a statement on its website.
As it turns out, the returned painting is one of 54 landscapes Klimt painted in the later years of his life. Lake Attersee is in Austria’s Salzkammergut resort region in the Dachstein mountain range. (And no, I didn’t just happen to know that.) Gustav Klimt spent many summers on the Attersee with his life companion, Emilie Louise Flöge, an Austrian designer who owned a haute couture fashion salon in Vienna. Flöge is perhaps the woman in The Kiss whom Klimt is passionately embracing (or it could be another woman named Red Hilda.)
Klimt and Flöge were important Viennese bohemians of the Fin de siècle art circles in the avant-garde Vienna Secession movement. Rightly so because Gustav was one of the founders the movement that corresponds to the Art Nouveau movement in France and England. (All of this was discussed earlier in this blog’s existence; see The eccentric Aubrey Beardsley and The forgotten Arthur Symons.)
The Kiss is Klimt’s most recognized painting from this era; he was obsessed with the female body and frequently portrayed women as voluptuous femme fatales. “All art is erotic,” he once mused. Except when it’s not, as in the 54 landscapes he painted later in life.
Which brings us back to “Litzlberg am Attersee.” In the statement provided by the Salzburg provincial government (in the judgement returning the painting to its rightful heir) is a stylized description of Gustav’s landscape:
“One of the later landscapes, which by a nearly monochromatic color scheme and scale setting the scene stand out. The distinctly stylized treatment of the landscape is still committed to the principles of Art Nouveau … The painting, however, nervous brushwork and iridescent surface of the painting, displays in a separate recovery pointillism influenced by, wakes, but also associations with mosaic art … Klimt, who for the most important landscape painters of the his time is one with, spent the summer months since 1900 almost every year on the Attersee.”
Tortured translation syntax courtesy of Google Chrome.