in Vienna Builds
See Gustav Klimt’s magnificent paintings close-up – a unique opportunity for Klimt fans!
Weighing four tons, the Klimt Bridge was specially built for Klimt Year 2012; it offers visitors a close-up view of the exceptional wall paintings executed by this celebrated Art Nouveau artist in the . As a young artist Klimt executed a series of thirteen magnificent pictures high up above the main staircase – between the columns and above the arcades – that are all still in pristine condition.
In 1890, a year before the formal opening of the Imperial Museum of Fine Art, three young artists - Gustav Klimt, his younger brother Ernst and a friend, Franz Matsch – were commissioned to execute the series depicting important periods of art.
Details of selected Klimt paintings over the staircase at the Kunsthistorisches Museum
Left: Ancient Greece II
(Pallas Athena), picture decorating a spandrel on the north wall of the
Main Staircase of the Kunsthistorisches Museum 1890/91
Right: Ancient Egypt I, picture decorating a spandrel on the north wall of the Main Staircase of the Kunsthistorisches Museum 1890/91 © Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum
Gustav Klimt painted the art of ancient Egypt and of ancient Greece: these paintings in the Staircase of the Kunsthistorisches Museum brilliantly document the evolution of the celebrated decorative-ornamental style of his later works.
Klimt cleverly used the narrow spaces between the columns and above the arcades in the sumptuously-appointed Staircase for his compositions. His technical virtuosity is equally astounding: the canvases were glued to the wall and are all still in pristine condition – after 120 years.