Friday, December 14, 2007

December Work in Focus

The Black Feather Hat, 1910
Oil on canvas.
Private Collection, New York, courtesy
Neue Galerie New York

Klimt was an artist who drew inspiration from a variety of sources, ranging from Byzantine to Asian art. In this work, we see the strong influence that French avant-garde artists exerted on his oeuvre. The restricted, striking palate of black, red, and white attests to the degree to which Klimt was influenced by the graphic work of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Instead of deliberately posing for the painter, the unnamed sitter in this work seems lost in her own thoughts. In that way, she is reminiscent of Edgar Degas's ballerinas, whom that artist captured in intimate, private moments.
The Black Feather Hat is on display in the second-floor galleries as part of the Gustav Klimt: The Ronald S. Lauder and Serge Sabarsky Collections exhibition.

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