A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
We picked up this massive volume of Klimt’s paintings almost a year ago. I flipped through it once, briefly marveling at the prints, and then couldn’t catch another glimpse for 11 months. It’s been surprisingly in demand. Not only are we not able to keep it from leaving with everyone who gets a look at it here in the building, but it’s been shipped all around our library system as well. (Quick compliment to the publisher, Taschen. A 17 pound book shouldn’t hold up to travelling all around the Chicago suburbs for a year, but this one’s hardly worse for wear.)
On top of Klimt’s complete paintings, it features a fair amount of his drawings and sketches and offers 8 short essays by different scholars. It’s also organized in a chronological/thematic fashion that makes turning the pages just as revealing as any biographical sketch from an art historian.
But really, it’s all about the prints. They’re, no hyperbole here, glorious. I can still remember the first time I saw one of Klimt’s major works in person (the Judith that’s at the Cà Pesaro in Venice). It was a bit of a revelation. The bold colors and glinting gold ornamentation were mesmerizing. These are the first reproductions I’ve seen that manage to capture some of that feeling. No, it’s not the same as seeing them in the museums, but I think it’s about as close as you’ll get in the comfort of the library or you’re living room.
I’ve finally had the chance to spend some time with the book, so now it’s your turn again. Stop by and check it out.
Review by Matthew