Marie Henneberg 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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Marie Henneberg

The portrait of Marie Henneberg by artist Gustav Klimt was painted in 1901 through the Vienna Secession movement. The beautiful artwork illustrates the artist impressionist technique of the time used to show his beautiful portraits of prominent women within the decade.

The focal point of the painting is the woman staring directly at the viewer, as they analyze the classic work of Klimt. The form of the woman undeniably adds to the texture of the painting, as her gaze meets the viewer's in a powerful form. The woman is older than the classic muses of Klimt's work, however add a sense of dominance within the piece. The woman carefully places her hand against her chin, as if she's pondering philosophical questions and strategizing immense ideas.

The woman's age adds to this element as there's an intellectual curiosity she holds through her years of experience. The way in which the woman's hand lightly brushes upon her face adds to the elements within the piece. The foundation of the artwork is based on the emotion illustrated through her face, seizing the gaze of the viewer as she analyzes them more than they do of her.

Gustav Klimt illuminates the face of the woman through with classic rosy cheeks and dark droopy eyes that fold down. The woman's hair is pitch black, cultivated up in a elegant hairstyle. The other significant element of the piece to witness is the light blue dress the woman is clothes in. The artist always desired to paint elaborate complex clothing that showcases an array of detail, as evident within this piece. The woman's light blue dress is covered in a chiffon fabric loosely set on her skin.

The complexity of painting a sheer material is only obtained through masterful artwork. Near the neck of the dress, the woman's collar ruffles into a fluffy fabric that covers her neck. The dress flows downwards is a layer of chiffon ruffles, adding to the form of the dress. Finally a light blue silky fabric with undertones of purple finished off the dress to the floor. A dark blue bow is placed on the right section of the woman's dress, accentuated through white sleeves.

Klimt was fascinated by these elaborate styles within his work, illustrating their exact detail and form. The artist normally chose the dress the woman would wear, even accompanying them to the store and having them custom made.

The woman is seated in a large armchair, as she prompts her body to not be hidden. Klimt maintained the background in a simple blend, using light brush strokes in a vertical motion to darken the piece. The background remains in a dark colour, made up of blue and brown brushstrokes. The artist had carefully made sure that the background did not overpower the woman's form, to highlight her presence.

The portrait is a prominent piece that illustrates the beauty of the aged woman as her intellectual curiosity and respect is painted across the canvas. Klimt's impressionist technique intertwines with soft brush strokes to transform the canvas into a work of art.