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The style of the work is a new approach by Klimt, moving away from the vertical portraits he usually painted.
Klimt looked at different ways of painting the baby, as it could not stand in a vertical position as in most of his other works. The artist had to find the right angle to tilt the child to accentuate its form, while complementing the rest of the painting.
In the work, it appears that the child is placed in a basket or cart where he is playing. See more
The baby's head is pale white, reflecting its young age. The head is surrounded by snow-white ruffles, making the pale face stand out like a lion's head is surrounded by fur. The baby's small, dark eyes stare directly at the viewer, while its orange lips and pink cheeks add a touch of colour to the face.
The focus of the work is not the child's face, but the beautiful set of fabrics that wrap around the baby to cover it. The layered fabrics are the essence of Klimt's work, as the artist has incorporated a range of shades and textures, just like his other classical works.
The child appears to be covered by a large blanket, sewn from different pieces of fabric into one large cloth. The patterns include flowers, zigzags, swirls, spirals, rainbows and a range of different shapes and colours in specific arrangements. The cover offers a splash of colour in each section, with the primary structured colour, blue, defining the room.
Nevertheless, Klimt has delicately blended the oil paint and smoothed the texture to accentuate the coverage. The painting retains the artist's classic colour mosaic style, while exploring a portrait in a new form.
Coming from a modest family, his father being a gilder, Gustav Klimt entered the Vienna School of Applied Arts in 1876. He continued his studies there until 1883. In 1879, he participated in the organisation of the Festzug (silver wedding of the imperial couple) under the direction of Hans Makart.
In 1883 he founded a decoration workshop with his brother Ernst Klimt and his fellow student Franz Matsch. See more
He decorated the ceilings of the Fiume Theatre in 1883, the Villa Hermes in Lainz, the Carlsbad Theatre in 1886 and the Burgtheater staircase from 1886 to 1888.
In 1900, Klimt's fresco entitled "Philosophy", considered an outrage to public morality, caused a scandal.
Gustav Klimt exhibited the fresco "Medicine" in 1901, which prompted an appeal from his patron in the Chamber of Deputies, Minister of Education von Harten.
This was followed by the culmination of the paintings on a golden background with "Danaë" and "The Kiss", two works presented at the Kunstschau, the first group exhibition by Klimt and his friends since the withdrawal of the Secession.
In 1911, Klimt travels to Rome, Brussels, London and Madrid.
Klimt died in Vienna on February 6, 1918 of a stroke, leaving many paintings unfinished.
"There is no self-portrait of me. I am not interested in my own person as an "object of representation", but in other beings, especially women, and even more so in apparitions". Gustav Klimt.