Klimt and his circle at the Beyeler Foundation
An exceptional occasion to view the complex triology by Klimt
Hidy and Ernst Beyeler could not have imagined the future of their collection and its possibilities to attract loans that have made this exhibit possible. Only 20 years ago the Reina Sofia presented the collection to the public when not even an appropriate exhibition space had been assigned to house their works. In 1997 the owners' dreams came true with the creation of the first exhibition site to preserve their works and since then the foundation has dodged all the difficulties usually associated to a private institution, whose goals are education and leisure through the arts.
Vienna 1900 is the title of the exhibition presented by the Beyeler foundation. In it one may admire the creations of the Austrian genius of symbolism and his disciples and contemporaries from the Vienna secession. From Egon Schiele to Oskar Kokoschka, Vienna 1900 is a symbolic journey through the Belle Epoque and the turn of the century in Austria, which revises the motivations and problems of artists in such a hectic period of history, gone forever.
Upon such an array, the three portraits of Ria (Maria) Munk painted by Gustav Klimt stand out. The subject of the three portraits was the lover of the poet, philosopher, actor and above all writer Hans Heins Ewers for whom she took her own life with a shot in the head in 1911. Ewer gained enormous sucess with his novel Alraune where he exposed his relationship with Ria. Her mourning parents commissioned the great artist to portray her in her death bed. Soon followed by another portrait that was not to their liking, which Klimt stashed away in his studio and would later transform to Ballerina. Years later Ria's mother, already a widow, commissioned the artist's last assignment, which he would not finish on account of his death. An arch of time triggered by the death of the subject and ended with the death of the artist. An exceptionally important period for art history.