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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 KlimtÕs collection of sketches professes a provocative spin on the artistÕs work while intriguing the viewer. The artist had produced an array of pencil on paper drawing throughout his career, which carefully illustrates his technique and style.

Klimt's sketch, Lovers, illustrates a man and a woman intertwined within one another arms lying down. The sexual allure to the piece is manifested as their nude bodies wrap into one another. The woman seems to be beneath the man, as her face is tiled towards the centre of the piece. Her hair lightly flows along the surface, while the emotion in her face seems to be monotone.

The artist did not focus on greatly outlining her body, and had instead just illustrated glimpse of her motion, yet focused on the structure of her legs. The primary focus that the artist seemed to explore is the composition of the man.

Gustav Klimt had strategically illustrated the components of the man's back, showcasing all the caverns and muscles within the mescaline body part. His back is sketched largely against the woman, professing a powerful feel to the piece. While Klimt did not usually paint men unless in a portrait in his early work, the artist was interested in the composition of menÕs backs; highlighting and contouring the different areas.

The soft detail illustrated throughout the sketch showcases the artists immense talent and capabilities. Soft lines fill the paper, curving into one another while showcasing two loves engulfed in one another. The compilation of KlimtÕs sketches showcases the natural nude presence of men and woman. These sketches were used by the artist to brainstorm and ponder how to portray the human body on his oil on canvas paintings. Many of the female drawings the artist had worked on were based on his models who had posed for the piece.

The female body always fascinated the artist, focusing many of his most famous pieces on their form. Women were illustrated in the artistÕs work more than men, as their bodies carried a beautiful feel to the work. The natural shape of their bodies intrigued the artist, with soft curves throughout their hips, structured breasts and butts and a small waist to hip ratio; their body types flowed against the canvas with KlimtÕs touch.

While the sketch does not illustrate a great ordeal of the story behind the work, the draft allows the audience to ponder as to what is occurring. Was the artist trying to illustrate two lovers within the art? Perhaps the artist was reimaging a personal memory that he encountered, something that he longed for and missed. Was the sketch simply a posed work that the artist illustrated in order to figure out what his next painting will be based on? These complex questions seize the viewerÕs attention, as they wonder the history and story behind the piece, as an immense number of the artist's paintings are able to proclaim their information.