Taschen has released an absolutely epic book on one of my favorite artists. Gustav Klimt: Complete Paintings is my favorite book this year so far (and I’ve acquired some great books during the quarantine!). The book is printed beautifully with many large images and the cover and dust jacket are gorgeous. It isn’t necessarily cheap, but for what you get, it’s a bargain. I bought mine for $45 and this 9.5 lbs. lap crushing book is worth every penny.
I love the palette used in the portrait above. The purples with the cool variegated brushwork in the skin tones is so beautiful and interesting. The shift from the peachy forehead to the pinks in the cheeks and then blue shadow under her chin are all beautifully handled. Who wouldn’t love the creepy faces peeking out from the background of this painting!?
The book covers, as the title would suggest, all of Klimt’s work. Many paintings I have never seen before. I love seeing his academic Salon paintings next to his more stylized personal works as well as his impressionistic landscapes and of course his beautiful portraits.
I have been wanting to get a more comprehensive book on Klimt and boy is this the motherload! I love the path that Klimt took creatively and I have found myself wanting to reach out of my current path of personal work and explore more avenues for self-expression. In this, I feel some kinship to Klimt’s career, or at least I hope to develop a better understanding of why he changed his work so significantly and hope to find some insights into what path I want to take as well. I love the incredible variety of media and effects that Klimt would employ in his art.
The book is broken up into 7 main sections ranging from his early career as a salon painter to his landscapes and drawings as well as the catalog raisonné at the end. I just can’t recommend this book enough. If you like Klimt at all and have the cash to spare, get this one. It’s a gorgeous book on the shelf or coffee table but of course best on your lap in the comfiest spot in your house where you can take the time to read the text and take in the breadth of his work presented in this book.