Amalie Zuckerkandl Gustav Klimt Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The unfinished portrait of Amalie Zuckerkandl (1917) by Gustav Klimt carries an array of history and technique behind the piece illuminating it's significance.

Upon the death of Klimt, the painting was gifted to a Jewish friend where eventually Nazi officers at the onset of World War Two seized it.

The painting illuminates the muse, Amalie Zuckerkandl, as she poses starring directly at the viewer. The piece carries a hint of eroticism through the bare shoulders, and the warm body language Zuckerkandl manifests.

The unfinished painting illustrates a woman seated with her arms gently folded towards her, while her gown flourishes to the floor.

The chest and shoulder's of the muse remain uncovered, creating a sexual allure to the piece. The off the shoulder gown gently folds at the top, and flows outwards holding a focal point of the piece. While the piece of the painting that remains unfinished is the dress, the viewer is able to locate an array of detail and information regarding it, imagining what the finished product would look like.

It is evidently seen that Klimt had begun painting parts of the dress at the bottom left of the piece. Based on the texture of Klimt's pencil sketches, the dress is meant to ruffle out to the side in an array of bright colours. Ruffles in the shades of blue, pink and red illuminate the texture of the piece, and Klimt incorporated soft brush strokes. The muse's hand is shown at the front of the gown, layered under the fabric.

The finished background of the painting illustrates shades of green and blue in a beautiful blend of colour. The artist paints a peeling textured wall, where each layer emphasises a colour. Shades of salad green, turquoise blue, and an array of light shades swirl the background illuminating the presence of the woman.

Zuckerkandl stares directly at the viewer of the piece in a powerful stare. A thick black chocker covers her neck, with a white stretch of ruffles accentuating the top of the necklace. Coming out the back of the chocker is a large black bow, holding the piece together.

The woman holds classic Austrian characteristics within her face, with prominent black eyebrows, and lush black hair pinned up. Her cheeks are a rosy pink, accompanied by bright red lips perfectly curved to her face. The woman's eyebrows are formed with a circular arch, curving the shape of her dark brown eyes.

Art critics predict that the piece would have incorporated Klimt's classic gold leaf technique, illuminating the colours in a bright atmosphere. The piece incorporates Gustav Klimt's 'New Art' style, while paying tribute to a impressionism and realism style.