Klimt (Shapes, Rhythm and Structure)

Gustav Klimt -Apple Tree II - 1916 - 80 x 80 cm - oil on canvas

Gustav Klimt was a master of shapes and structure and as we see in this late painting, he was a great master of the reductive process.

We see this is his late painting Apple Tree II, a wonderful example of the power of shapes.  We respond to the beautiful shape of the tree, then we take in the dance of the circles , particularly the wonderful pauses of the red circles, in fact, note how one red circle is actually the focus.  The rhythm of the trees on the horizon is wonderful and I hope you feel the dance.

Appreciating that information for the sake of information can disrupt a composition is very important. Shape and pattern within the shape, works much better, as we see in the tree and the triangle shape of the foreground.

There is very sophisticated structural consideration in this painting, which I feel is one of the finest I have ever had the pleasure of engaging with.

It’s the vertical at the bottom right, which not only provides a lovely visual support for the trunk, but also provides one of the best spatial planes I have ever seen!  Do you see the horizontal at the top of the vertical line, forming a right angle and how the feeling of a spatial plane comes forth?  Magnificent!



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