The Polecat Fur, painted over the year of 1916, near the end of Klimt’s career, was left unfinished. It’s a vertical piece and part of the muses collection. The artist died two years after this piece was created. Apart from the lack of color details in parts of this painting, what led researchers to believe it was left unfinished is the lack of signature.
The central figure of the piece is a pale-skinned woman wearing a polecat fur, as the name of the painting suggests. Her garment symbolizes that the woman would have been wealth, as this material was scarce and expensive. The prosperous woman is dancing in the middle of a crowd; her portrait painted on the exact moment she would be finishing a turn. Her coat is following the movements of her body and feet. Her body is turned backward, and the only parts we can see apart from her head, are her hand, possibly holding the coat closed together, and her feet finishing the swirling movement and establishing themselves on the brown floor.
The most compelling part of this artwork is the long coat. The Impressionist style of the brush strokes assigns to the coat such perfect color and texture that the observer can perfectly perceive the material that names the piece. She wears dark tights and black high heel shoes, beautifully portrayed. Not only the intensity of the material of the coat is observable, but also the momentum in which the end of the movement of the woman is caught.
The lady has dark brown hair, expressive eyebrows and rosy cheeks over her pale white skin. She has a very impressive powerful piercing gaze and delicate facial features. Her stare is probably the most remarkable feature of the painting.
The background emphasizes the contrast both in style and theme, where the printed texture is illustrated in bright colors. The stylized crowd wears orange, green, red and purple exotic vests and dark hats. The background behind them is stroked in a dark blue that divides the scene from the main figure on the foreground. The central muse, however, is done in pale tones of earth and brown.
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