Expectation Gustav Klimt

Expectation: Gustav Klimt

Expectation is a 1911 symbolist Art Nouveau painting by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt. This work can be found in the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria.

Expectation Analysis

This is an artwork that belongs to the frieze decor designed by Gustav Klimt for the Palais Stoclet in Brussels and its owner, Josef Hoffmann.

Expectation was likely created by Klimt several years prior to his work at the Palais Stoclet, which lasted from 1908 to 1911 and during which Klimt was the director of operations for a team of designers ordered from the Wiener Werkstätte. The composition is in fact a mosaic arranged over marble plates and traced according to life-size drawings prepared by Klimt.

The inspiration for this reflective female figure came from Egyptian art. We observe the flat, bidimensional quality of the whole and how our main subject appears in the profile. The study of the stark geometries of the Egyptian model involved Klimt in a multitude of preparatory drawings mainly concerned with the triangular base which construes, in this case, two-thirds of the woman’s physique.

Her dress is patterned by triangular, wavy, and spiraling forms in the manner of many Klimt portraits. The peanut-colored background is similarly traversed by orderly volutes. The impression of giantism in the picture is entirely due to the outsize proportion of the woman’s pyramidal dress to her torso and face.

Her uplifted arms may have been observed in the gestures of contemporary dancers, but they, too, could derive from Egyptian precedents.

Expectation Location

This work can be found in the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria.

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