Gustav Klimt. Hope, II. 1907-08

Gustav Klimt Hope, II 1907-08

  • Not on view

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 craftwork, 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