“Mother with Children” – Gustav Klimt

mother-with-children.jpg!Large     
     “Mother with Children (c.1909 – 1910)

             Gustav Klimt

                 _______

Gustav Klimt has long been one of 
my very favourite painters, a large 
reproduction of a detail of his 
masterpiece, Music“, hangs even 
on one of my walls

how much is that Klimt in the 
window, I’d asked the merchant 
when I saw it from the street in 
his shop’s display

later, I invited people over, to see
my Klimt, I’ve got a very large 
Klimt, I’d say – this is before 
anyone even knew of him, I was, 
I’ll admit, a bad boy

around all that, I’ve had the good 
fortune to see many of his works
during the several times I’ve been 
to Vienna, where most of his 
wonders reside, where they grace  
that immortal city, the great hall of
the Kunsthistorisches Museum,
the Art History Museum in English, 
for instance, the Beethoven Frieze 
at the Vienna Secession Building 
and, of course, at Belvedere, the 
summer palace, where among 
other paintings of his, you can 
still see the iconic The Kiss
their national treasure

but the painting above, part of a 
private, apparently, collection, is 
utterly new to me, and therefore 
striking,

note how stark the background is
here, above, compared to Klimt’s 
usually more ornamented 
constructions, how the subject is
starkly the gentleness, the 
intimation of peace, even serenity,
in the rosy cheeks of not only the 
children, but of also the mother,
the slumber and surrendermidst 
the imprecations of the 
surrounding, and portentous,
darkness, note the paradoxical, 
genetically determined even, trust 
and love, in the consonant colours, 
cherry blossoms blooming in all 
three sleeping faces, despite the 
threatening miasma of encroaching 
and engulfing primordial earth

Shostakovich also said something 
like that in his 15th String Quartet
a fundamental harmony develops, 
despite even strident distortions, 
disturbances, in otherwise 
unbearable situations, to provide 
some solace, redemption
 
listen, I urge you, if you dare

compare the crook in the mother’s 
neck, above, a nearly Baroque angle, 
to the same docile, though resilient,
bent in Klimt‘s lover in The Kiss 
for his provocative, maybe even 
enlightening, perspective on 
women


happy Mother’s Day, mothers, for all 
your invaluable attention


R ! chard

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