Klimt’s Water Serpents

Water Serpents I & II by Gustav Klimt are two elaborate paintings which help define his career as a highly innovative period of great achievement. Austrian Klimt was an artist who loved to depict beautiful women in his paintings, but not in the typical style as had been seen for centuries before. This painter much preferred a different approach that was much more contemporary, with his imagination running wild to create a mystical finish that is still much loved even today.

Water Serpents II is the better known of the two paintings and features a greater variety of colour than the first. The two models are also much clearer in the second, whilst the first relies heavily on just the colours of black and gold, making the objects within it far more blurred. The models used within these art works are very typical of Klimt with beautiful women chosen and placed in intertwined positions alongside flower laden backgrounds that morph into between them and leave a finished work that each time has great longevity because of the incredible detail which has gone into each painting.

The original paintings were normally based on huge canvases by an artist who needed room to achieve the exceptional level of detail which he liked to put into the majority of his paintings in the latter part of his career. Water Serpents II is one example of where he did at least experiment with the shape of the canvas, with a wide landscape chosen precisely for the purpose of capturing the two scantily clad models in the exact position which he was looking for, namely side by side with some flowers in between.

Following from the Water Serpents series, Klimt produced a whole host of other exceptional paintings and preparatory pencil sketches including The Tree of Life, Stoclet Frieze, Farm Garden with Sunflowers, Forest of Beech Trees, Donna con Ventaglio, The Kiss and Apple Tree.

We can conclude that both Water Serpents paintings were important additions to the fine career of Klimt and the feminine charm within them has also led to them becoming highly sought after reproductions for those looking to buy art for their own homes. It is the elaborate detail and bright paint that has made Klimt so popular within the art mainstream and few paintings show off this style better than the two Water Serpent paintings mentioned in this article which aims to bring the beauty of the artist’s career to your attention.

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