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Gustav KlimtStudy for the Portrait of Mäda Primavesi - Drawing of a young girl
Mäda Primavesi was the daughter of the banker Otto Primavesi – one of the most important patrons of the Wiener Werkstätte – and his wife, Eugenia. Gustav Klimt, who had become a friend of the Primavesi family, painted in rapid succession a portrait of the nine- to ten-year-old Mäda and of her mother. Klimt’s portrait Mäda Primavesi, his only formally commissioned record of a child, was completed not long before Christmas 1913. Wearing a short white dress and with straddled legs, the girl poses against a brightly coloured background evocative of a fantastical landscape. As in the studies for his portrait of Mäda’s mother, Klimt endeavoured, through a series of sketches, to capture the essence of his young model, evidently making particular allowances for the child’s characteristic vivacity. He captures Mäda dressed for comfort and in all her naturalness as she adopts a number of different poses: seated with loosely dangling legs, viewed from the front and from the side, standing with her hands on her hips or hanging at her sides. With short pencil strokes, he registers the shifting facial expressions of this child with such a lust for life. In this study elements such as the strictly frontal presentation of the girl, whose glance is slightly raised, are offset by factors such as the loose strokes with which Klimt renders her shoulder-length hair, her dress slightly runched up above her knees, her folded hands or her dangling legs. Wilful geometric accents within the pattern of the dress – two powerful vertical lines and one horizontal – anchor the seated figure within the plane and maintain a lively dialogue with the animated structure of the fabric. Klimt pays more attention here than in his other drawings of Mäda to the cushions among which she sits: these are suggestive of a landscape, and this is perhaps already a hint at the solution he was eventually to adopt in his painting. Marian Bisanz-Prakken (translated by Elizabeth Clegg) This work comes from a private collection in Los Angeles and is in excellent condition. It is listed in the catalogue raisonné by Alice Strobl with no. 2117a
- Creation Year1912-13
- Movement & StyleJugendstil
- Condition DetailsThis work comes from a private collection in Los Angeles and is in excellent condition. It is listed in the catalogue raisonné by Alice Strobl with no. 2117a
- DimensionsH 22.01 in. x W 14.45 in. x D 0.79 in.H 55.9 cm x W 36.7 cm x D 2 cm
- Gallery LocationVienna, AT
- Reference NumberLU110124348791
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