Portrait of Emilie Flöge Gustav Klimt

Portrait of Emilie Flöge: Gustav Klimt

Portrait of Emilie Flöge is a 1902 symbolist Art Nouveau painting by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt. This work can be found in the Vienna Museum in Vienna, Austria.

Portrait of Emilie Flöge Analysis

This is a charming depiction by Gustav Klimt of the co-owner of the Schwestern Flöge (“Flöge Sisters”) salon in Vienna.

Emilie Flöge, who is also believed to have modelled for the famous Kiss of c. 1908, is shown standing life-size in a narrow, but very tall, canvas (181×84 cm). She is wearing a silky blue dress pocked with yellow decorations in the shape of circles and squares, and myriad spots of white.

Her left arm is crinkled at the hip, which is slightly rotated towards us. Emilie Flöge is looking our way with an expression which tells of deliberate attention to something on our right — most likely the very figure of her painter.

Behind her head, an elaborate, unnatural decoration appears to be hanging midair. Its shape and colour patterns evoke the image of a cushion, or — if we notice the green shape resembling a handle — a handbag. The lower half of the painting is shapeless and colourless, except for Emilie Flöge’s figure. Klimt has substituted the entirety of that space — which may have included a floor and some furniture — with a surface of rugged paint sloping down from a dirty grey to a noisy brown.

The painting appears to have originated as a devoted study of the painter’s muse, created with little interest for critical consideration. It occurred in the midst of Klimt’s engagement with that regional manifestation of Art Nouveau called the Vienna Secession. It bears the characteristic mosaic quality of Klimt’s art; it is in fact an arrangement of oils and gold leaf.

Portrait of Emilie Flöge Location

This work can be found in the Vienna Museum in Vienna, Austria.

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