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.
Lady with a Fan (Dame mit Fächer) is the last portrait Gustav Klimt created before his untimely death, when still in his artistic prime and producing some of his most accomplished and experimental works. Painted in 1917, the uncommissioned piece depicting an unidentified woman was on an easel in his studio when he died in 1918. Like many of Klimt's late works, it incorporates strong Asian influences including many Chinese motifs.
The painting depicts a woman with chestnut curls against a yellow backdrop with Oriental motifs. As she gazes into the distance to the left, her patterned silk robe is slipping off her shoulder and she holds a fan concealing her bosom. The Chinese motifs in the background include a large flying phoenix, a symbol of immortality, rebirth, and good fortune, and bright pink lotus blossoms, which are associated with love and immutable beauty. A long-legged crane and a golden pheasant are also present. The flatness of the background patterns evokes Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints, while the colours imitate the chrome yellow, cobalt blue, and red ochre of enameled Chinese porcelain.
the above text appears on the back of the card HC-1372: card size 6" x 6" (150mm x 150mm)