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Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

“Portrait of Hermine Gallia” by Gustav Klimt

"Portrait of Hermine Gallia" by Gustav Klimt

“Portrait of Hermine Gallia” by Gustav Klimt

“Portrait of Hermine Gallia” by Gustav Klimt is a portrait in which the sitter, Hermine Gallia (1870 – 1936) is wearing a dress designed by Klimt. Numerous preliminary drawings were made for the composition of this work, and several alterations are visible to the naked eye. Significant portions of the figure’s contour having been altered to show the Gallia leaning slightly forward towards the viewer. Her clasped hands and the slight upward tilt of her head makes her look as if she is engaging with the viewer.

Klimt, as in many of his other portraits, has used abstract, geometric designs, in this case, on the dress, and in the background. Diamonds composed of hexagons and triangles for the pattern on the floor carpet, while Hermine’s dress train shows a checkerboard effect.

Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt was a symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt’s primary subject was the female body, and eroticism marks his works. Klimt was influenced by Japanese art and its methods and achieved success with the paintings of his “golden phase,” many of which include gold leaf. “The Kiss” is Klimt’s most famous painting.

Reflections

  • What makes Gustav Klimt’s portraits so recognizable as his work?

Portrait of Hermine Gallia

  • Title:          Portrait of Hermine Gallia
  • Artist:        Gustav Klimt
  • Year:          1904
  • Medium:  oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: Height: 170.5 cm (67.1 in); Width: 96.5 cm (37.9 in)
  • Museum:    National Gallery, London

Gustav Klimt

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“Truth is like fire; to tell the truth means to glow and burn.”
– Gustav Klimt

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Photo Credit: 1) JOM

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