Gustav Klimt (1862-1918)
A member of the Austrian Sezession, a pioneer of contemporary art with an irresistible decorative Jugendstil.
Der Ritter (1902)
The knight is the dominant, radiant central figure in this first of three allegorical frescos designed by Klimt for the ‘Sezession Exhibition’ of 1902, in which Max Klingers’ sculpture of Beethoven took such a central place. Klimt painted a tribute tot the artist as a prosecuted saviour, which later became known as the’Beethoven-frieze’. The female figures behind the knight conceal the external power (knight) with ambition and pity. Above this threesome floats ‘the Longing for Happiness’ and on the left-hand side the contours of ‘the sufferings of weak mankind’ appear.