There can be no doubt about Klimt’s greatness as a draughtsman. Remarkable above all is the intensely sensual mood that he establishes in his limpid, fluid drawings and watercolours.
Rainer Metzger brings together hundreds of Klimt’s works on paper in a way that enriches our knowledge of the artist and enhances the visual impact of his oeuvre. Many revolve around Klimt’s taboo-breaking main themes – the naked woman, erotica and homoerotica – while others provide allegorical and historical insights. Between these two poles lie Klimt’s elegantly direct preparatory sketches and studies, tirelessly and manically executed – frameworks that would lay the foundations for his paintings.
This book is a fitting testament to a hitherto neglected aspect of Klimt’s art, which is as complex and contradictory as the times in which it was made and as the man who made it.