Baroness Elisabeth Bachofen-Echt 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 painting of Baroness Elisabeth Bachofen-Echt by Gustav Klimt in 1914 was of the daughter of August and Serena Lederer.

The Lederer family were on of Klimt's most prominent patrons, as the artist painted an array of pieces for the family within his time. The family would later grow to hold fifteen paintings by Klimt, with the Baroness Elisabeth Bachofen-Echt as one of their most cherished.

The self-titled muse at the time was twenty-four years old when Klimt began studying her form for the painting. The piece would take two years to paint, as artist analyzed her every detail for the oil on canvas masterpiece. Towards the later years of Klimt's work, the artist favoured a standing position for his muse, as the vertical form enabled a dominant feel within the pieces.

The muse of the piece, Elizabeth, stands in an upright position, with her hands against her hips gripping onto the fabric. Her face carries the classic Austrian features Klimt was familiar with painting, with her pale white skin, and rosy cheeks as the only colour. The woman holds prominent arched eyebrows, accompanied by lush dark coloured hair styled in a bob. Similar to Klimt's previous work, the muse stares directly at the viewer with a soft grin. The details on her face are painted in-depth, luring the viewer into her petite face.

The woman is dressed is a light blue gown, with an array of different fabrics and textures throughout the piece. The dress carried a simple grey-blue colour, ruffled and folded throughout the waist and bottom of the dress. She is drenched in a matching over-cloak, based on the same colour scheme however different fabrics. The cloak is covered in an array of small white and light blue flowers, and a minor swirling pattern. The cloak cover's the muse's shoulders, while leaving a glimpse of her chest uncovered.

The woman's silhouette is paired with light blue stockings, leading to matching coloured heels. The structure of the woman is positioned with a background triangle, accentuating her form and leading to her face and the focal point of the piece. The triangle behind the woman holds Klimt's classic swirling pattern influenced by Japanese art and culture at the time.

The background of the piece progresses into an azure teal, where miniature figures are displayed against the wall. The artist has incorporated miniature portraits of Japanese men and woman, including soldiers, classic woman in the midst of their day, and a single prominent ruler. The floor continues into the classic Japanese influenced style, with a bright tangerine coloured stiles covered in detailed patterns and symbols.

As the face of the woman is painted with a realist technique, the rest of the painting is seized by Klimt's trademark art nouveau style; incorporating different, patterns, elements, and shapes through exterior influences.