Gertha Felssovanyi 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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Gertha Felssovanyi

The portrait of Gertha Felssovanyi dates back to 1902, painted by the masterful artist Gustav Klimt. The painting sheds light on Klimt's realism technique, however transcends to an art nouveau style used to illustrate the piece. The painting illustrates a beautiful woman, dressed in a gown with her arms crossed, starring directly at the viewer.

While the exact origins of the painting remain unknown, the classic details illustrated throughout the piece show a great deal of information of the subject. Due to the pieces incredibly vertical form, it seems as if may had first been painted as a mural on a wall. The piece carries a similar form to one of Klimt's first murals, Of Actor Josef Lewinsky as Carlos, for the Burgtheatre. The painting illustrates the main in an upright position, posing in a dark costume as the artist paints him to showcase within the theatre. The portrait of Gertha Felssovanyi is illustrated in the same style through a vertical technique.

The portrait illustrates dazzling woman, who meets the gaze of the viewer as they analyze her classic features. The woman's small dark eyes add an emotion of depth as they are portrayed in a smoky deep colour, seizing into the mind of the viewer. Her cheeks are filled with an orange shade, adding colour to her pale skin. Accompanied by bright red lips darkening her presence. The woman's dark curly hair is neatly placed up, gently covering the surface of her forehead. The artist had an array of Austrian model who posed for him, however this woman seems to be an unknown muse for the artist, steering away from the classic features most of his woman have.

Klimt had an incredibly fascination for the female body. Yet, while within this piece the woman is covered, the viewer is able to witness the artists interest in depicting each of her details in their natural form. The beautiful element of the piece that the artist fully paints is the long dress the muse is clothed in. The woman wears a light lavender dress, paired with shades of white and grey throughout the piece. A patterned strip of purple outlines the fold of the dress, falling towards the floor.

A dark mustard coloured piece of fabric wraps within the purple outline adding a different texture to the ensemble. At the arms of the dress, ruffles flow outside covering the muse's wrists. An immense amount of detail and precision is required by the artist to paint the ruffled arm sleeves, alongside the sheer material that surrounds the dress. A transparent technique is used to illustrate this thin material, adding to the wealth of the dress.

The background of the piece remains in a simple dark grey, with a linear pattern gently shaded. As the woman is not clothed in bright colours and textures, the background must remain simple to accentuate the woman. The art nouveau style illustrated within Klimt's artistry is evident through his simple yet elegant mural of Gertha Felssovanyi.