Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Art at the Belvedere
The Kiss by Gustav Klimt has to be one of the most widely distributed if not famous works of art in the world. It's on towels, mugs, calenders, umbrellas and atop a billion mushy blogs about romance. So it is shocking to see the real thing -- encased in a huge protective glass-fronted box and surrounded by people. It's sparking and vivid, just beautiful. OK, even romantic.
But naturally, the work that most intrigued me in the museum was this Giovanni Segantini piece of frigid, sterile bleakness called The Evil Mothers. Whoa. That writhing woman bound to the tree by her hair is pushing against a baby's decapitated head at her breast.
Segantini's mother died when he was 4. Apparently he did not turn out to become much of a feminist and believed that women who rejected motherhood and didn't want children were unnatural monsters who deserved cruel punishment banished in eternal winter.