This artwork was completed in the year of 1913 when the artist Gustav Klimt spent a summer in Italy with his muse and lover Emilie Klöge. It disappeared for several years, as it was transported by its original owners on the year of 1938, during the Nazi invasion of Austria in World War II and was only rediscovered decades later.
This painting shows several landmarks, including Castello Scaligero, where it’s possible to admire its 13th-century towers and its older Medieval outbuilding. Other famed landmarks present in this painting are the church of St. Stephen, from the 18th-century and the church of Santa Maria di Navene.
This painting is a turning point in Klimt’s career for many researchers. The traditional Impressionist style is evident on the colors and the textures from the houses and leaves, but it already shows signs of Modernist influences in its geometric shapes and on some details like the reflection on the water. The vivid colors present in nature contrast with the white and cold blue that is present on the walls and water. A horizon line is not present, and the constructions and water fill in all of the canvas, leaving no room for perspective work. Likely, the focus of the artist would have been on the textures and the colors created with the vigorous brushstrokes.
There is a set of houses running uphill, the low ceilings painted in diverse bright colors and evident brushstrokes. There a detail-oriented work on the windows and the singularities of each house. The eye is guided upward, towards the big central construction.
In front of the church, there are dark conical trees, regularly displaced and almost framing the side view of the church. The light is shining right in the middle of the landscape, and shadows are cast towards both corners. The houses and even the church itself is lighter in the middle and darken as they move outside of the panel.
A noticeable feature in this painting is the textured walls and trees, full of small vigorous brushstrokes of different colors. It’s also important to draw attention to the dark shades of blue on the trees, a very characteristic choice of colors for the artist during this transition between Impressionism and Modernism.
The original painting was sold in an auction and is currently part of a private collection.
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