Baby 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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Gustav Klimt had begun painted the colourful piece, Baby, in 1917 upon writing to his wife a letter that he will begin a child portrait.

Two days later, Klimt wrote to his wife informing that he will complete the painting, where it was exhibited in Stockholm the following September.

The style of the piece was a new approach Klimt delved into, as it steered away from the vertical portraits he normally painted.

Klimt examined the different ways in which he could paint the baby, as it could not stand in an upright position as much of his other work was based upon. The artist had to find the proper angle to tilt the child to accentuate its form, while complementing the rest of the painting.

Within the piece, it seems as if the child in placed within a basket or carriage where he plays. The baby's head is a pale shade of white, illustrating its young age. The head is surrounded by snow-white ruffles, outing the pale face such as a lion's head is surrounded by fur. The baby's small dark eyes stare directly at the viewer, while his orange coloured lips and rosy cheeks add a pitch of colour to the face.

The focal point of the artwork is not the face of the child, but the beautiful array of fabric that swarms over the baby to cover him. The layered fabrics are the essence of Klimt's work, as the artist incorporated an array of shades and texture just as his other classic pieces do.

The child seems to be covered in a large blanket, sewn together from different pieces of fabric into one large cloth. The patterns include flowers, zigzags, swirls, spirals, rainbows and an array of different shapes and colours into specific arrangements. The blanket offers a pop of colour in each section, with the primary structured colour of blues outlining the piece.

A rich metallic yellow is located in the middle of the blanket, similar to the artists gold phase within his most popular paintings. A few of the patches on the blanket are simple yet colourful colours with no pattern, seeming as if the cloth is made up of excess pieces of fabric. The artist used a new pattern for each piece of fabric on the blanket, gently intertwining them together to create one large cloth that covers the baby and flourishes within the painting.

The background of the Baby remains muddied in order to highlight the beautiful multi-coloured cloth within the painting. The background holds not structured form, however is an array of greys and greens mixed together and blended at the crease to fill the canvas.

Nevertheless, Klimt gently blended the oil paint together and smoothed out the texture to accentuate the blanket. The painting holds the artists classic mosaic style of colour, while exploring a portrait in a new form.