Gustav Klimt Rose Bushes Under the Trees
Gustav Klimt's 1905 Rose Bushes under the Trees, is a stunning canvas comprised of a jumble of dotted, clumped flowers, that imparts a vivid impression of movement, as if the wind is blowing the dense leaves of the overgrown rose bushes. Demonstrating the influence of Pointillism, Klimt's graphic and decorative vision gives life to a scene of overabundance and decadence. Rose Bushes under the Trees is therefore a reflection of the heady days of fin-de-siecle Vienna, a time of wealth, growth, ingenuity, and creation that saw the city receive a steady tide of poets, artists, painters, writers, philosophers and architects. As one of the leading figures of the Austrian artists group known as the Vienna Secession, Klimt's posthumous fame has since outshone that of the group. Yet from their intitial appearance in 1888 the group played a decisive role in the decorative arts and formulation of the Art Nouveau style in painting and architecture. Characterized by concerns similar to those of the German Jugendstil movement, the Vienna Secession found its forms and materials in the world of architecture, relying on the rigor of build constructions and harmonious environments. In this study of the integration of art and life, Klimt's canvas is a vision of wealth and pleasure, an utterly libertarian approach to material luxury.
Currently housed in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris Rose Bushes under the Trees breaks with the tradition of landscape, allowing any sense of topography or terrain to be removed by the crowded inclusion of the rose bushes. In this small space the painter chose to occupy three quarters of the table with the overgrown foliage, allowing only a small shaft of sky to creep into the frame. Due to the suffocating lack of light there appears a slight thinning to the right side of canvas, reflected in the juxtaposition of small splashes of color, a flattened, almost abstract sense of space borrowed from the Neo-Impressionist school. Yet this utterly fabricated image is naturalized through a profound natural light emerging from the small strip of sky. With remarkable confidence and charisma this master of portraiture makes a majestical arrangement of roses appear uncanny when submitted to the viewer's gaze. With an air of Impressionist wonder, Klimt arranged his humble rose bushes with the bombast and wealth of one of his aristocratic sitters; resplendent in Byzantine ornamentation and suffocating in their surplus glory.
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Home › Art Subjects › Floral: Landscape › Rose Bushes Under the Trees
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