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.
Water Serpents II, also referred to as Wasserschlangen II, is the follow-up painting to the earlier work Water Serpents I. Like the first painting, Water Serpents II deals with the sensuality of women's bodies and same-sex relationships. The painting has a rich history, and was stolen by the Nazis during World War 11. It is amongst the most expensive works by Klimt to sell at auction.
the above text appears on the back of the card HC-1274: card size 7" x 5" (178mm x 127mm)