Unification of Arts and discovery of joy by means of the arts, explored and proposed by Gustav Klimt and his contemporaries

Unification of Arts and discovery of joy by means of the arts, explored and proposed by Gustav Klimt and his contemporaries

Discovery of joy by means of the art


We are already at the beginning of the 20th century and the old forms have to be replaced by the new ones. Gustav Klimt was one of the first harbingers of change, amidst Austrian Empire with deeply defined artistic establishments and social circles.

It is important to note that one of the most vivid example of Unification of all Arts, or Total Art, as it was named, happened simultanously in Wagner through the opera expression, Klimt explored the symbolism through which he was portraying various social, musical, myth themes.

“Beethoven’s frieze” is one of the most inspiring all embracing art pieces. It resonates in full synchronicity with Beethoven’s Ode to Joy (right wall) as well as contemporary reflection of human predicament (left wall) and the suffering the human kind has to go through -Gorgons, death, madness, sickness, grief (front wall) in order to reach the stage of pure joy through arts.

Today’s world through Klimt’s eyes

“I have the gift of neither the spoken nor the written word, especially if I have to say something about myself or my work. Whoever wants to know something about me -as an artist, the only notable thing- ought to look carefully at my pictures and try and see in them what I am and what I want to do.”  Gustav Klimt

Today we are just starting to escalate the machine of creativness. Technology allows us to explore diversity and find our own styles, yet often times we resort to the well established patterns in design particularly, and the sense of repetition is the one that makes us feel the slow motion, with which our civilization is moving. Klimt’s vision while deeply reflective of his own era, also evoked the primordial, powerful symbolism that is still present in humans today, regardless of technological and social changes.

The Kiss, 1908

Death And Life, 1908

The balance between life and death

When I see this painting the first thing that comes to my mind is the physics of the universe. Matter and the Antimatter which is still a mystery as to the asymmetry in the observable universe.

At one side of the painting we have life, depicted with human beings in various ages, although dominated by women. While on the other side there is a scull with many crosses symbolizing the religious explaination of death and life.

Art is a line around your thoughts. ”
– Gustav Klimt

“The concept of the tree of life is illustrated by Gustav Klimt’s painting, in a bold and original manner. The swirling branches create mythical symbolism, suggesting the perpetuity of life. The branches twist, twirl, turn, spiral and undulate, creating a tangle of strong branches, long vines and fragile threads, an expression of life’s complexity. With its branches reaching for the sky, the tree of life roots into the earth beneath, creating the connection between heaven and earth, a concept often used to explain the concept of the tree of life, in many cultures, religions and ideologies. The tree of life illustrated by Klimt also creates another connection, with the underworld, signifying the final determinism governing over any living thing, that is born, grows, and then returns back into the earth.” Source: http://www.gustav-klimt.com/

Science and Art are stiving towards the same ideals

Klimt was fascinated by Darwin, whom he studied closely and depicted many elements of cell formations in his paintings. It is clearly that convergence of various types of arts and science was very prominent at the time. Other notable artists who explored and influenced the western world with these notions were Oscar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele.

Today I want to start working again in earnest – I’m looking forward to it because doing nothing does become rather boring after a while. ”


– Gustav Klimt

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