This sketch is a study for “The Dancer”, a brightly coloured painting in the Art Nouveau stye. Gustave Klimt was a controversial yet very popular artist in Austria, well renowned for his colourful and innovating works of art. Much of his art however, was criticised due to its erotic and exotic themes. This painting, unlike his other much more sensual and almost pornographic sketches, is soft and natural. The dancer’s head is reclining backwards and turned to one side, while her hands are clasped together, held up to her breast. It is romantic and tender, yet honest. Though she is most likely posing for the painting, one can tell it is sincere and nonchalant. Her eyes look downwards as if she is pensive, detached from the present and absorbed in whatever is flowing through her mind.
I recently viewed this sketch at the Klimt and Schiele exhibition in the Royal Academy in London, and was drawn to the dancer’s poise. As well as her mannerism, I found her face and dress particularly alluring and enticing. Amongst the many various sketches on show, this one was quite prominent, I think, as unlike the heavily sexualised nude sketches on display, this was quite delicate in its intimacy, purity and elegance.
Gustav Klimt. Study for The Dancer (Ria Munk II), 1916-17. Pencil on paper, 49.6 x 32.4 cm. The Albertina Museum, Vienna. #klimt#gustavklimt#riamunk#albertinamuseum#thedancer#art#artory #art #artnouveau#poise#austria#tender#royalacademy#sketch#dancer