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Sea Serpents

by Gustav Klimt

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Sea Serpents - Description

Sea Serpents was created by Austrian Symbolist Gustav Klimt. This painting, of the Art Nouveau or new art style shows a beautiful woman as a sea serpent at the bottom of an ocean reflecting gold and brown tones. This is a classic depiction of a the femme-fatale concept so often explored by Klimt. The womans beauty is meant to cause the reader to ignore the her snakelike form. The eye is naturally drawn to the upper right region of the piece where the woman is crammed into the corner, her white breast exposed in the center of the piece where it commands the most attention. Klimt includes the head of a water beast in the lower right hand corner to remind the viewer of the nature of a femme-fatale. It is symbolically enlarged and garish to look at, its eye staring grotesquely ahead. There is quite a delicate balance between beautiful and ugly at war on this canvas. From the head of this woman flows a radiant mass of red hair as it spills outward and juxtaposes against a background of gold. Notice the scaly pattern all about her and the smug expression on her face. The woman is one with the snakes, wrapped up amongst their slithering bodies as if she is in a state of ecstasy. Swirling golden sea grass grows upward from beneath, highlighting the fact that this is an underwater scene.

Painting Details

Artwork Name: Sea Serpents

Original Artist: Salvador Dali
Subject: Nudes
Style: Art Nouveau
Medium: 100% Hand-painted on Canvas
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