Gustav Klimt's painting Music I demonstrates the artist's ability to create works that are both beautiful and symbolic. In this image, the timeless power of music is celebrated.
Music I focuses on the image of a young girl. The girl's head is bent forward in rapt concentration, and she plays a massive golden instrument. She is in profile, and clad in simple, dark robes that contrast with the intense gold and flat horizontals of the background. Accents - a Greek mask, the bust of a Sphinx, the stylized clusters of grapes surrounding the instrument - are sophisticated references to Greek vase painting and art. In essence, this a compelling and complex composition that simultaneously evokes the past while also looking forward to a more Modern style of artistic expression.
In addition, the mood of this work is one of contemplation. It is almost as if we can hear the delicate notes of music being played, so deftly has Klimt frozen a moment of music in time. The eternal power of music is truly captured in this beautiful image.
Frank Whitford is the author of this book. It is a great introduction to the life and work of Gustav Klimt, with many images of Klimt's paintings accompanying the interesting text.