Monday, March 14, 2011

Week 7 Blog Post

Gustav Klimt was an Austrian painter, and a part of the Vienna Secession movement. He made paintings and murals, and lived from 1862-1918. He mostly painted women. This is Mäda Primavesi, an oil on canvas painting he made in 1912. The painting is of Mada Primavesi when she was nine years old. It was made as a gift for André and Clara Mertens, in memory of her mother, Jenny Pulitzer Steiner.

I found this painting interesting because most of the portraits I see are of people with a sort of blank expression; as if they were so bored they just wanted to leave. But if you look at this girl’s eyebrows she seems more determined, ever so slightly. This is backed up by her pose, with one arm bent to her hip, and her legs spread out. It’s almost like she’s saying “what are you looking at?” Instead of being passive as many portraits are.

The background looks to be an assortment of textures and colors like most of Klimt’s paintings. I like how the green and pink in the background matches the flowers on the girl’s dress, and I think the artist did well separating the matching tone of the background and the girl’s dress and legs so that you can tell they’re separate. Also, the texture on the dress is rather interesting. I like how the dress has three different textures in it, and they make it look like fabric would.

I think it’s a very good portrait: I usually find portraits boring, but I really like her expression and stance, and the background is well designed. The green in the background seems to frame the white floor in a way that leads your eye to the girl, and the pink wall in the background contrasts nicely with the green floor.


  1. The wall has an interesting texture to it. It seems like it is made of satin or silk. Does anyone know how this effect was achieved?

  2. Very mysterious. Her expression is hard to read and the monochromatic color scheme also adds to that expression. Her stance is also a little awkward, but it seems as if she is not willing to let anyone mess with her. She's a tough girl, or so it seems.

  3. I really love Klimt's style and this piece is no exception. The super detailed patterns are so entrancing and when combined with the intense look on this girl it's hard to look away.

  4. This really has a Gustav Klimt feel to it. Even though it doesn't look very art deco.

  5. It may be just me, but the face does not look like that of a nine-year old... there is something very adult about it, especially in the eyes. I have no idea why Klimt has painted it this way, though.