Serena Lederer 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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Serena Lederer was the spouse of August Lederer, a close friend to Gustav Klimt and a patron to his work.

The portrait was painted in 1899 of the dazzling high society woman, Serena Lederer. The portrait was commissioned by Serena's husband and displayed in the Vienna Secession exhibit of 1901.

The woman is a momentum of Vienna's Golden Age, illustrating the array of beauty and luxury of the high society who were comprised of the upper class. The soft tones throughout the work showcase a mixture of Klimt's style; illustrating realism intertwined with Art Nouveau through an array of details and colours.

The portrait illustrates the ravishing Vienna woman posing for the piece as the prominent artist, Gustav Klimt, paints Serena Lederer. The woman's dark features seize the gaze of the viewers, as their eyes meet each other's. Her dark Austrian eye adds a dazzling feel to the piece, as their oval shape is warm and welcoming. The droopy structure of her eyes is a common characteristic in Klimt's work as it adds a seductive gaze to the portrait. Her thick eyebrows frame her face while adding a rich dark colour to accompany her big eyes. The woman's small nose and mouth are painted neutrally, bringing attention back to the woman's eyes. The artist paints a small smile that does not overpower the face of the woman, while adding a flash of colour to her face.

A signature mark of Klimt is to add rosy cheeks to the pale face of the muse, adding a warmer glow to the cool face. The soft smile that slips through the woman's cheeks adds an admirable charm to the woman. The painting is welcoming and calm, simply illustrating the beauty of Serena Lederner. The canvas is not filled with bright colours, drawing attention to the wealth and drama of the woman, yet instead her natural beauty.

Klimt favoured the muses within his portraits to stand in an upright position, as it showcased their features and added structure to the body. The model within the piece stands up right with her arms gently falling to the side, tiled to add depth to the piece. The woman's pose is not harsh or stuck, instead displays an easy character to the woman. She is clothed in a conservation white dress, covering her arms yet showcasing a glimpse of her chest. The artist is known to have picked the attire of his muse, and had most likely stuck to a simple dress to accentuate the woman. However, the artist never fails to impress by adding an array of detail within the dress of the woman.

The soft white creamed colour dress lightly hugs the woman's chest, and then flows through the remainder of the piece. A large ruffled bow is hung on the chest of the woman, adding a glimpse of the era's fashion into the simple piece. The sleeves of the woman are covered in a sheer chiffon fabric that wraps her arms in layers. Beneath the breasts of the woman, the dress gently falls to the ground in a linear flow. The artist's masterful detail showcases this swift pattern through soft linear brush strokes. The artist's brush begins beneath the breast of the woman and flows towards the floor of the dress. The artist added minor shades of lavender and yellow throughout the bottom half of the dress to add texture to the light material. The artist contours the bottom of the dress as he shades the piece.

The background of the painting remains in the same colour as the woman's cream white dress, with a few added shades of yellow to showcase contrast. The silhouette of the woman gently blends into the background of the painting. The artist gently blends the background in an Art Nouveau technique adding depth to the piece. Gustav Klimt's impeccable mastery within the portrait of Serena Lederer manifests his brilliant style and precise attention to detail.