Who inspired Gustav Klimt, the great master of Viennese Modernism? How familiar was he with Vincent van Gogh? Had he ever seen a work by Henri Matisse? The collaborative exhibition between the Belvedere in Vienna and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam follows a trail that starts with Klimt’s artistic forerunners and leads to his contemporaries. In striking juxtaposition, the show displays works by Klimt, Van Gogh, Matisse, and many others.
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Klimt. Inspired by Rodin, Van Gogh, Matisse … is the result of close collaboration between the Belvedere and the Van Gogh Museum, where the exhibition will be on view in 2020. In 2021, the Lower Belvedere will open a comprehensive presentation dedicated to prominent international artists who influenced the work of Gustav Klimt. Comparisons, carefully chosen, of his paintings with artworks that verifiably inspired him bring about intriguing encounters with works by Alma-Tadema, MacDonald-Macintosh, Toorop, and Whistler as well as Monet and Rodin, van Gogh and Matisse. The show features about 80 paintings, drawings, and sculptures from Gustav Klimt and other artists.
The Research Project
Since 2015, the Belvedere in Vienna and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam have been working together on an extensive research project aimed at ascertaining which works by relevant artists Klimt encountered in his lifetime. Major exhibition venues such as the Secession and the Miethke Gallery were thoroughly scrutinized in order to reconstruct the arrival of international modern art in Vienna that occurred at the turn of the century. Lesser-known institutions and notable private collections within Austria such as those of Carl Reininghaus or the Wittgenstein family were also investigated. Based on references made to his exhibition and gallery visits, Klimt’s travels too were carefully traced. Information regarding the day’s perception of art was supplemented with exhibition reviews and critiques found in newspapers and magazines such as the Neue Freie Presse and Ver Sacrum.