Wayside cross painted by Gustav Klimt

Shrine with crucifix

Gustav Klimt, Farm Garden with Crucifix, 1912. Oil on canvas, 110 x 110 cm. (Click to enlarge)

Most famous for his gilded-style painting The Kiss, Gustav Klimt also painted many landscapes during his career. One of them shows a garden shrine to Christ, planted outside a farmhouse and covered in flowers of red, purple, and yellow. (It reminds me a bit of the Black Forest postcard I posted on last year!)

I love the rich color and thick brushwork in this painting. I also like the perspective, which leads the eye up that blossomy swell to the Mary figurine, and then up the body of the crucified Christ, where the flowers become all-golden, creating an aura about him and sanctifying the space. Traditionally Christ’s glory is signified by a halo or a mandorla, but here the natural environment does the job. It’s almost as if the flowers gather around him in worship! And they invite us to worship as well.

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