At the end of the nineteenth century, the raging art movement known as Japonism—a French term coined in the 19th century to describe the Japanese influence on European art and design—became one of the most present components of Gustav Klimt’s new art. Klimt (1862-1918) was a leading figure in the plastic arts of Vienna at the turn of the 20th century, and his paintings became known for their opulent decorative character full of gold surfaces and fin-de-siècle eroticism, which still today enjoys widespread popularity. However little is known how Japanese art served as a catalyst for the renewal of Austrian Art by the work of Klimt and other members of the Secession movement, who often based their works on these aesthetics. Furthermore, Klimt was an avid collector of East Asian art objects; woodcuts, noh masks, ceramics, and textile designs. This lesser known connection between the artist and Japan has been recently celebrated at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, “Gustav Klimt Vienna-Japan 1900” (April 23 – July 10, 2019).
Join Dr Markus Fellinger, author of Au Temps De Klimt, and curator at Österreichische Galerie Belvedere in Vienna in a colourful talk on the enigmatic connection between Klimt and Japan.