Houses in Unterach on Attersee is a landscape painting from circa 1916, a year when Gustav Klimt would have already developed his ornamental style and showed great influences from the Fauvism and Mannerism movements. It’s possible to observe the geometrical influences of Henri Matisse, and at the same time, it’s evident that the flat Cubist vibrant colored houses are influenced by Schiele’s work.
To produce this artwork, it is very likely that Klimt traveled with his boat to the same point where he originally painted the piece called Unterach on Attersee. The landscape on this painting is cropped and zoomed in if compared to the predecessor Unterach on Attersee, so it’s possible to assume that the artist would have used a telescope or binoculars to have this perspective. The flatness and lack of depth would confirm this theory that the painting was created through the lens of a binocular.
The landscape shows a couple of houses disposed on a green hill amongst dark trees over the beautiful lake that features other paintings from the artist. The colors on this painting are vivid and aggressive. The houses are very geometrical. Unlike other paintings from this period, the pointillist style is replaced by flat brushstrokes that create a Cubist aesthetic. The colorful houses guide the eyes and compose a zigzag through the bright green field. There are no signs of civilization in this painting, leading us to believe that the main goal of the artist would be to represent the geometrical architecture and experiment with a Fauvist style of landscape.
The red house on the bottom right is right behind a bright round green tree and stands out from the other houses, painted on light whites and yellows. Right in the middle of the painting, on the margins of the lake, there is a small dark red boathouse. There is diversity in the shapes of the houses and the roofs, but none present curtains or signs of people living in them, a detail that Klimt added to other similar paintings.
The hill is portrayed on a beautiful warm green color and contrasts with the dark green bushes and trees. Both the field and trees are drawn with flat vigorous brushstrokes that create this colorful Fauvist atmosphere, along with the dark blue shading and luminosity that are observed in so many Impressionist pieces. The brushstrokes lay in several directions and create a moving luxurious path of nature against the flat surface of the landscape.
One impressive detail of this piece is the water of the lake and the reflection of the houses, trees, and grass. With the same flat vigorous brushstrokes, Klimt creates a marvelous sensation of a beautiful, moving body of dark water.
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