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by Gustav Klimt

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Hygeia - Description

Hyegieia is a painting by the late Austrian Symbolist Gustav Klimt. Originally painted in oil, Hygieia is said to have been created between the years of 1901 and 1907. The subject of the work, from which the title derives its name is the goddess of cleanliness and well being in both ancient Greek and Roman culture. Notice Klints insertion of a large snake draped around her arms, a symbol often associated with the goddess. The manner in which Gustav Klimt approaches Hygieia is consistent with the strategy used by the artist when dealing with most of his nudes. Klimt assumes the role of a subservient male approaching the elevated goddess from below. From the position at her feet the viewer can feel the womans dour countenance burning down upon them. Naturally, when drawing close to a goddess of hygiene one would must feel unclean even after the most efficient shower. Klimt creates the impression of mystic power presiding over the female. In addition to the mood created by Klimt through a wide gradation of red, Klimts mastery can be seen in the structural element of Hygieia. The stature of the form is heightened due to the spiral effect of the tail at the middle section of the woman. The snakes end anchors the lower region of the painting and in doing so balances the head at the top of the composition.

Painting Details

Artwork Name: Hygeia

Original Artist: Gustav Klimt
Subject: Portraits
Style: Art Nouveau
Medium: 100% Hand-painted on Canvas
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