To celebrate the pre-release of my new novella THE WOMEN FRIENDS: SELINA, I’ll be blogging about some of the gorgeous works of art I studied during the course of my research, beginning with Gustav Klimt’s beautiful but unfinished painting Adam and Eve, 1917-18. This one didn’t make it as far as the final edit I’m afraid, but it’s still one of my favourites.
Gustav Klimt is perhaps best remembered for his portraits of women, preferring the female body in terms of anatomy, aesthetics and form. After his father and brother died, Klimt lived the rest of his life with his mother and sisters, and is known for his open relationship with Viennese fashion designer Emilie Floge and his numerous affairs with his female muses. As he had little interest in religion in general, it seems probable that the painting is a study of the female nude, more so than it is a biblical work of art. However, the relationship between the two figures is indicative of the power Eve had over Adam at the moment before The Fall.
Eve looks directly out at the viewer, full of vitality and confidence. She is painted in light colours, advancing towards the eye; the blue floral motifs are striking against her golden hair.
Adam, by contrast recedes, fading into the background. He is passive, somnolent; at first glance we hardly notice he is there at all. Traditionally in art, the moon represents femininity and the sun is more associated with the masculine. Here, Klimt turns tradition on its head; Eve dominates the whole composition.
The painting is also reminiscent of Klimt’s earlier, and most famous work, The Kiss.
In The Kiss, however, the man is dominant.
The iconic pose in here, with the head at a unnatural angle is mirrored in several of Klimt’s paintings. In the other works however, when the woman dominates, a child is often the passive figure.
Gustav Klimt died suddenly in 1918, before Adam and Eve could be finished. It now hangs in the Belvedere in Vienna.
I’ll be blogging about more of Klimt’s beautiful works of art next week. In the mean time, my novella, THE WOMEN FRIENDS: SELINA is now available on pre-order from Amazon
THE WOMEN FRIENDS: SELINA
Who is the young woman with the haunting gaze in Gustav Klimt’s 1917 masterpiece, The Women Friends?
Selina Brunner is running from the demons of her past, cut off from her family in a sleepy Tyrolean village, and lost in the soulless city of Vienna, where everything – even one’s very existence – is a lie.
When, amidst growing fear of sinister developments in Vienna, an exotic stranger comes to town, Selina finds old passions reignited and her whole world turned upside down.
The Women Friends: Selina is the first in a series of fictional tales about the women who inspired this great artist.