'Art is a line around your thoughts.' Klimt
Gustav Klimt’s The Tree of life is a visual encapsulation of a midsummer night’s dream: a blissful, blossoming golden vision that evokes the magical, mythological mystery of the summer solstice. A golden tree with swirling, spiralling branches is flanked by figures: on the right a passionately embracing couple; and on the left, a single woman whom the artist described as a ‘dancer’. Is this the Garden of Eden, or is it an allegorical depiction of love and art? No one knows for Klimt almost never discussed the work. Commissioned for the dining room of the Brussels mansion of Adolf Stoclet, The Tree of life is a mosaic, made with marble, copper, gold, precious stones and coral. Intricately detailed and lavishly rendered, it illustrates Klimt’s highly decorative style: a golden feast for the eyes.
Words by Annabel Matterson. The Iris Letter June 2016.