Gustav Klimt Attersee 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 painting of Lake Attersee by artist Gustav Klimt is a transcending piece that illuminates a blend of realism and modernism.

Klimt had spent the summer on Lake Attersee, the body of water in which this piece is based upon. He spend most of the day outside with his sketch book and painting the beautiful scenery around him.

Soft brush strokes cover the canvas, illustrating the soft waves that flow within the body of water. The oil on canvas piece was painted in 1900, upon Klimt's arrival from his trip to the lake where he stayed in a beach house near by.

The painting illustrates the soft lake, painted with a glimpse of the sky and a dark rock to the left of the work. The water is painted in different strokes, of a turquoise teal accompanied by shades of grey to illustrate the current.

The detail oriented technique manifests the different textures of the water, through the current of the water heading towards the right of the canvas. The colours are nicely paired together highlighting and contouring each other as the greys illustrate the depth of the water.

It is unknown whether the painting is based on the shore of the lake, or in the middle of the body of water. As Klimt spent the summer near the lake, it is most likely a piece painted on the spot at the shore of the lake.

The texture and colour of the water changes as it deepens into the horizon, incorporating shades of light teal with a lavender purple. The linear pattern used to paint this area showcases a different textured body of water, most likely used to illustrate the depth of the water.

The horizon slowly blends into dark grey clouds, blending into the sky. The technique used by Klimt within this area highly resembles the texture of watercolour, however is evidently light stokes of oil paint. The gloomy clouds seize the emotion of the painting, creating tension within the piece and reflecting upon the water covering the azure water.

At the right of the painting stands a dark coloured rock, resembling a cliff. It is unknown exactly what the object appears to be due to the muddied style of painting, however seems to resemble a large mass of rock. The rock adds as a focal point to the piece, however the attention is brought back to the texture of the water.

The painting showcases a gloomy day at the lake, as the clouds fill the sky darkening the emotion within the piece. Klimt incorporated a modern style of painting, steering away from patterns and symbols within the painting. Klimt's Attersee illustrates a calm time within the artist's life, engulfing the natural elements around him into his work.