Description of the painting by Gustav Klimt “Athena Pallas” (1898)

Description of the painting by Gustav Klimt “Athena Pallas” (1898)

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The originality of the Austrian artist Gustav Klimt lies in his portrayal of women as the main characters of the works. In his canvases, he touches on such generally significant themes as death, old age, love, depicted by expressive catchy colors, mainly in golden tones. Especially spectacular on his canvases are the images of powerful mistresses and destructive beauties who rule over men and bring death to them.

The gallery of super women begins with Athena Pallas, depicted in gold armor, hung with weapons, confident in the victory over the entire masculine gender. Individual details that first appeared on this canvas will subsequently become of paramount importance in the future work of the master, for example, the use of noble metal and metamorphosis of the body into a pattern, and ornament into flesh.

The picture shows a woman in armor across her chest: strands of long brown hair flowing across her chest are knocked out from under the helmet, half covering her face and head. In a bent and raised hand, she holds a metal spear, leaning slightly on it. In the other hand, the character holds an attribute of power in the form of a ball with a miniature nude female figure mounted on it. Chain mail of gold rings is decorated on the neck with a shield with satyr minted on it. She stands on the background of a wall covered with drawings of a female figure on the left side of the heroine, and on the right is a shaded picture of a mythical animal against the background of an ornament of rings echoing chain mail.

Unlike other beauties on the master’s canvases, Athena exudes power, lust for power, her militancy has a magnetic nature. The sheen of her armor - a glittering helmet, a breastplate of gold rings - corresponds to the radiance of her lively, burning eyes, which began to symbolize the secessionists' assertion of the right to free expression. Critics were so impressed by Athena that they gave her the name "demon of the secession." She launched a new round in the works of the painter, who was called the golden period. In the image of Athena, Klimt was captured by her divine essence.

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