Gustav Klimt’s Secessionist ‘Medicine’


51mG2UJYJEL._SX385_On the 14th of July 1862, Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt was born in Baumgarten, the Austrian Empire. In 1894, Klimt and his partner, Franz Matsch were commissioned by the Austrian Ministry of Culture and Education to create three paintings for the University of Vienna. The canvases were to be installed on the ceiling of the Graduation Hall in the new University designed by Heinrich Ferstel. Not completed until the turn of the century, they represented Klimt’s last public commission. Entitled  Philosophy, Medicine, and Jurisprudence, the murals were criticized for their radical themes and material, and were called “pornographic” by his contemporaries. This was due to the fact that Klimt used traditional allegory as a new form  of expression which seemed more sexual and offensive to some. The public outcry came from all quarters—political, aesthetic and religious. As a result, they were not displayed on the…

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