Gustav Klimt. Hope, II. 1907-08

Gustav Klimt Hope, II 1907-08

The Museum of Modern Art, Floor 5, Collection Galleries

Although images of women and children are frequent in the history of art, depictions of pregnancy are rare. In Hope, II a woman with a skull nestled into her gown lowers her head toward her swelling belly. Below, three women also bow their heads—in prayer or possibly mourning. The ornate decoration in Hope, II nearly overwhelms its surface. Klimt was committed to craft work, and was among the many artists of his time who combined archaic traditions—here Byzantine gold leaf painting—with a modern psychological subject. Klimt lived and worked in turn-of-the-century Vienna, home to Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis; Klimt's exploration of formative drives like sex and death parallel Freud's explorations of the psyche.

Gallery label from 2009
Medium
Oil, gold, and platinum on canvas
Dimensions
43 1/2 x 43 1/2" (110.5 x 110.5 cm)
Credit
Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder and Helen Acheson Funds, and Serge Sabarsky
Object number
468.1978
Department
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.

Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), Vienna. Until 1914
Eugenia Primavesi. Acquired by December 1914
Neue Galerie (Dr. Otto Kallir), Vienna. [Either sold by Dr. Kallir in 1937, or thereafter by Ms. Vita Künstler, to whom he transferred ownership of the Neue Galerie in 1938]
Private Collection. By 1964
Private Collection, Vienna. By 1969 / by 1975
Dr. Hans Barnas, Vienna. By 1977
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired from Mr. Barnas, through Galerie Beyeler, Basel, June 13, 1978

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