Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) was an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Art Nouveau movement. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism. In 1876, Klimt was enrolled in the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, where he studied until 1883, and received training as an architectural painter. He began his professional career painting interior murals and ceilings in large public buildings.
Klimt's work is distinguished by the elegant gold or coloured decoration, often of a phallic shape that conceals the more erotic positions of the drawings upon which many of his paintings are based. Klimt travelled little, but trips to Venice and Ravenna, both famous for their beautiful mosaics, most likely inspired his gold technique and his Byzantine imagery.
Danae depicts a woman from the classic myth, being seduced by God Jupiter (Zeus). The sleeping figure of Danae coils up to meet and embrace the fall of golden rain symbolizing Jupiter. The parted lips and legs, the closed eyes, the rolled down stocking on her ankle, the reddish hair and diaphanous purple veil are all indicative of Danae’s particular sensual experience. Nearly a quarter of the picture surface is taken up by Danae’s thighs … the drawings for the painting are more voyeuristic than the finished work. Klimt asked his models to pose in these revealing positions and drew them with simple, clear outlines. The ornament and rich colouring of the painted versions serve to distract the viewer's attention slightly from the exposed pose of the women.
the above text appears on the back of the card HC-886: card size 6" x 6" (150mm x 150mm)