Moving Water I 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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Moving Water I

Moving Water I portrays the alluring natural essence of woman, plunged down beneath the water as they intertwine the elements founds within. The painting belongs to an array of a symbolist collection Gustav Klimt had created, coving the theme of underwater life between 1898 to 1907. The artwork Moving Water I, similarly carried the style of Klimt's work, Blood of Fish 1898. It is believed that blood of fish was the sketch that influenced the painting Moving Water I.

The painting gently illustrates the beautiful form in which the women are painted across the canvas. The artist had strategically studied the flowing form of woman within the piece to perfectly illustrate the movement. These women are engraved into the natural element of the water, flowing with the current as their hair lusciously flows within. The artist had spent a great ordeal amount of time studying the way in which woman's hair adds to painting that he's creating.

Within the painting, the viewer is able to witness the artist's immense amount of technique used to illustrate the flow the hair, adding to the allure of Moving Water I. The woman naturally flow in the water as their bodies move as a music note to the sound of the sea. The neutral yet prominent colours used in the piece add to the structure of the women. The artist have decided to use red/orange toned hair colour for the women, as illustrated the prominent paintings of mermaids at the time.

Within the painting, the prominent focal point that draws the viewer's attention is the woman on the right who arches her back; blending her body into the current of the water. Her natural grace seizes the canvas, as she poetically moves her body to feel the water that unfolds beneath her. The other two women to the left of her, gently flow arched feeling the cool water. The artist was not scared to showcase the natural presence of the women's bodies, matching the red pubic hair to the colour of their soft locks. This continued the red throughout the woman's body, gently showcasing their human elements.

The frightening aspect that seizes the viewers attention is the small man located at the bottom right of the portrait. His presence is not easy to spot; however once witnessing his form, the viewer is not able to dismiss his tone to the piece. The small frightened man seems to be starring at the beautiful flow of the woman, with his eyes wide open.

The man may be a symbolism that represents the response Klimt receives on his work, seeing it as pornographic and inappropriate. Or perhaps is meant to implement a feeling of fear as the man watches over the women who are in peace. The small painted man resembles Edvard Munch's painting of The Scream (1893). These two pieces showcase a similar style, as a small man looks frightened with wide eyes and his hands on his face.

The flow of Moving Water I holds incredible resemblance to Blood of Fish, which Klimt drew that year. The colours used within the painting illuminate one another as the joyful piece attracts the viewer's attention to the presence of the woman. The deep reds gently bleed into the blues on the canvas, with linear forms to accentuate the features. The small lines remember coloured pencils, yet are an intercut array of patterns and styles.