Artist’s work evoked strong reactions

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Painting a picture of artistic Austrian Gustav Klimt was the guest speaker at the recent Gainsborough and District Decorative and Fine Arts Society.

Frank Woodgate gave his talk entitled ‘The Viennese Secession - Craftsmanship and Sensuality’ in place of the advertised speaker Elizabeth Gordon.

Born 1862 into an artistic Austrian family, Klimt showed early talent and established himself as a traditional painter at a young age. By the end of the 19C his work was evolving with the Symbolist movement in Europe, idealistic but elegant, refined and elitist.

He was soon one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession and elected as its first president. By rejecting the Viennese Academy and his predecessors’ tendency toward naturalism and as a response to Impressionism, he believed that the purpose of art was not to represent reality but to access greater truths by the systematic derangement of the senses.

Klimt’s work did evoke the strongest reaction - he adored the female form fathering 14 children and the strength and sensuality of women, the connection of sex with death. He is noted still for a huge output of murals, sketches and other objets d’art and his paintings have brought some of the highest prices recorded for individual works of art.

The next meeting of the society is on May 1 when Peter Medhurst will speak on ‘I am the Very Model...’ Parodies of Victorian Society in Gilbert and Sullivan.

Lunch is bookable with Rachel by the preceding Monday on 01427 838780. Visitors are always welcome £5 entrance and membership is on 01427 788568.