domingo, 14 de octubre de 2012

En Viena: "Medicine", un cuadro de Klimt que no pude ver...

Medicine /Gustav Klimt 1900-1907 
(Destruido con fuego por las SS alemanas en 1945)

Tan solo un  detalle queda...y fotografías.

Medicine was the second painting, presented in March 1901 at the tenth Secession Exhibition. It featured a column of nude   figures on the right hand side of the painting, representing the river of life. Beside it was a young nude female who floated in space, with a newborn infant  at her feet, representing life. A skeleton represented death in the river of life . The only link between the floating woman and the river of bodies is two arms, the woman's and a man's as seen from behind. At the bottom of the painting Hygieia stood with the Aesculapian snake around her arm and the cup of Lethe in her hand, turning her back to mankind. Klimt conveyed an ambiguous unity of life and death, with nothing to celebrate the role of medicine or the science of healing. Upon display of the painting in 1901, he was attacked by critics who could have noted that Vienna was leading the world in medical research under such figures as Theodor Billroth (1829–94), Frantisek Chvostek (1835–84), and Ludwig Türck (1810–68). An editorial in the Medizinische Wochenschrift complained that the painter had ignored doctors' two main achievements, prevention  and cure. For a rough composition draft of the painting see here.
In 1911 Medicine and Jurisprudence were bought by Klimt's friend and fellow artist, Koloman Moser. Medicine eventually came into the possession of a Jewish family, and in 1938 the painting was seized by Germany. In 1943, after a final exhibition, they were moved to Schloss Immendorf, a castle in Lower Austria, for protection. In May 1945 the paintings were destroyed as retreating German SS forces set fire to the castle to prevent it falling into enemy hands. All that remains now are preparatory sketches and a few photographs, most notably that of one focusing solely on Hygieia. Only one photograph remains of the complete painting of Medicine, taken just before it was destroyed. 

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