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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A kiss is still a Klimt
There is obviously more to the man than one famous painting and this book sets out the life and works of Klimt in enough detail to provide readers with a glimpse of an intriguing man. The colour plates cannot quite convey the glitter of his art work but that is a limitation of the reproduction process. Excellent value for money and even includes a timeline of his life...
Published on 27 April 2010 by Amazon Customer

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3.0 out of 5 stars The Max Branning of the fin de siecle Viennese art world
I didn't read the small print when I purchased this book on Amazon. I thought I was buying a large hardback but instead I got an A4 paperback with fairly small prints of Klimt's most famous paintings.I think a larger book and larger pictures would have been more attractive and appealing. Klimt really did love the daughters of Eve as nearly every picture features them...
Published 27 days ago by L. Davidson


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A kiss is still a Klimt, 27 April 2010
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Amazon Customer (PLYMOUTH, DEVON United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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There is obviously more to the man than one famous painting and this book sets out the life and works of Klimt in enough detail to provide readers with a glimpse of an intriguing man. The colour plates cannot quite convey the glitter of his art work but that is a limitation of the reproduction process. Excellent value for money and even includes a timeline of his life at the end of the book.
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76 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Color Reproductions!!, 27 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Klimt (Paperback)
Klimt is my favorite artist and yet it is so difficult to find quality reproductions of his works; usually the color is faded or the gold leaf comes out a sickly yellow!! This book has beautiful reproductions and concise and informative explanations next to each painting as well as an interesting biography on Klimt. I highly recommend this book for a clear, concise overview.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great reproductions of the paintings, less satisfactory text., 15 Jan 2008
This review is from: Klimt (Big Art) (Hardcover)
Christmas presents - how I love them! This year Miss Santa Claus (it is now an equal opportunities position) brought me this fine book.

The great strength of the book is its many fine reproductions of Klimt's paintings, there must be over 100, plus drawings and posters. We can follow the evolution of the artists style through these: from early highly proficient drawings and neo-classically styled paintings to his mature style in which he relishes surface texture and the female form.

Gottfried Fliedl's take on the artist in the text is less successful. His school of art criticism does not comment on the art in itself, it sees it mainly as the outworking of socio-political forces and philosophical ideas. When considering an artist like Klimt I cannot but help think that this misses out so much that is important.

Fliedl is right to concentrate on Klimt's depiction of the feminine, but due to his interpretive tunnel vision he misses much that is of importance, indeed he misses much of Klimt's unique vision and gift to art. So many things seem to be missed by Fliedl's method of analysis: sympathy, sensitivity, humanity, and empathy.

To give an example: one of the revolutionary aspects of Klimt's art was the naturalistic and sympathetic way he depicted women. His nudes are quite different from those before them. They are not high class pornography. There is nothing of a man's idealisation and objectification of the female form for his own amusement. Instead in many paintings Klimt depicts the female form in a natural and unaffected way, even if these depictions are within highly stylised compositions. Fliedl gathers many of the best of these paintings in a chapter entitled Hope, after the title of a painting of a pregnant women. Then rather than discuss the paintings he spends his time on a pseudo-political rant about the oppression of female models.

One chapter contains a selection of Klimt's drawings that are described as `erotic' here, for `erotic' read pornographic. Klimt's usual portraits of the female form may be said to be erotic in the best sense of the word, these voyeuristic drawings come across as second rate by comparison. Rich appreciation of the feminine being replaced by cheap titillation.

Klimt's landscape paintings are covered in two chapters, they show the same fascination with surface detail that his other paintings do, but there is a sense that there simply isn't the same richness as in his pictures containing figures.

Overall this is a book well worth buying due to the quality, number and variety of the reproductions of Klimt`s paintings.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Klimt, 13 Mar 2012
By 
Yvonne Magee (St Andrews, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Klimt, 1862-1918 (Hardcover)
At the Leopold Museum shop in Vienna, after viewing many Klimt paintings, I found a number of Klimt oriented books, some far more expensive than this one. What I wanted was excellent reproductions. This book had much better colour reproduction than any of the others, some at multiples of the price. Once home, I have discovered that the narrative is useful, too. A great purchase to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Klimt's birth!
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Max Branning of the fin de siecle Viennese art world, 13 Jun 2014
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L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Gustav Klimt 1862 - 1918 (Basic Art Album) (Paperback)
I didn't read the small print when I purchased this book on Amazon. I thought I was buying a large hardback but instead I got an A4 paperback with fairly small prints of Klimt's most famous paintings.I think a larger book and larger pictures would have been more attractive and appealing. Klimt really did love the daughters of Eve as nearly every picture features them either dolled up to the nines or in various states of undress and often entirely naked. He painted the vile creatures in very flattering poses , more like goddesses than mere women. I am sure the 21st Century lesbian/feminist fraternity would love these paintings and indeed several of his pictures feature naked lesbians in the throes of erotic pleasure. Some of Klimt's paintings are beautiful , but there was a certain sameness to them and if you think that women are actually rather ordinary, dull and indeed malevolent beings , then his paintings and this book wont be for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 26 Feb 2014
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Reproduction of artwork was excellent as was the text. Looking forward to more of other artists. You get a real insight into the different phases of Klimts work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Roll on 2018, 21 Jan 2014
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Dr R (Norwich, UK) - See all my reviews
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Another reviewer wanted to see some gold, my 1994 copy of this 240 page book has, on the front cover, a detail from "Fulfilment, a pattern for the Stoclet Frieze", 1905-9, in tempera, watercolour, gold paint, silver-bronze, crayon, pencil, opaque white, gold leaf and silver leaf on paper. I can imagine some buying the book for this reason alone.

This is another of the comparably inexpensive art books published by Taschen that marry the highest standards of presentation and colour reproduction with an authoritative text, by Gottfried Fliedl, and an excellent translation by Hugh Beyer. There are well over 250 illustrations, mostly in colour and many full-page colour plates, as well as a number of photographs

Fliedl's approach in this book is to begin with two illustrated essays that set the scene: Introduction - `Klimt's Popularity', and `Klimt's Fame', next is `Klimt's Vienna - Then and Now', a series of photographs of Vienna that are not just interesting but provide a visual context for this most Viennese of artists. The author then embarks on a chronological journey from the artist's training, through the formation and break-up of the Secession to his late works. There is an illustrated Chronology and a Bibliography. Fliedl's journey is presented in 22 short sequences/chapters; this may be too `bitty' for some readers but it does make it is easy to stop at the end of a `chapter' and carry on later. An earlier 4* reviewer has commented that this approach allows the reader to `follow the evolution of the artist's style through these [reproductions]: from early highly proficient drawings and neo-classically styled paintings to his mature style in which he relishes surface texture and the female form', and I would concur.

Klimt's history, the history about the Secession and, indeed, the history of fin-de-siècle Vienna is one of the tension between the radicals and the conservatives. An art history that takes a narrow art historical approach was once acceptable, but today the artist's life and work must be put into a wider social, political and economic context. For this reason I prefer to read several books or exhibition catalogues each of which offers an unique picture (pun not intended) of the artist and, by putting these together, I hope to arrive at a personal overall critique. In fairness to the author, he does quote liberally from other art critics and scholars, and of course we are reading him from a distance of two decades.

In a chapter entitled `I'm not particularly interesting' Fliedl points out the double difficulty for those delving into the artist's life and art. `There are a large number of highly elaborate legends [that are] matched by very few and indeed rather shaky facts'. According to those who knew him, he was taciturn, bourgeois, found difficulty with the every day activities of life and hated any disruption to his routine. In today's world where so much `information' is available through so many channels and where so little of it is soundly based, this must be the frustration of every biographer. Paradoxically, it also means that there might just be a bundle of letters and papers addressing private and professional matters, gathering a century's dust and waiting to be found in time for the centenary of the artist's death in 2018.

The chapter on "The Kiss", 1907-8, which we will see much more of as 2018 approaches, examines its popularity. Klimt's use of gold may be a reason, but surely not the whole story. Do we, as males and females, identify with the couple? And if so, how? As Fliedl points out the figures are oblivious of one another and Klimt's couples rarely communicate any affection, rather they adopt rigid poses or are lost in dream-like states. I do not understand `erotic' to be synonymous with `pornographic' and the male figure is certainly dominant, holding the female who is compliant and passive. Their sexuality and gender are unified, reconciled and neutralised within a [phallic] patterned, golden envelope. His patterns are angular, with black contrasting with the gold and grey, whilst hers are mostly rounded and softer. According to Fliedl the male is not a representation of the artist.

The focus of the book is very much on the figure rather than on landscapes, its subtitle being 'The World in Female Form'; `Early Landscapes' has 6 coloured reproductions, 1898-1903, with no text, whilst `Landscapes', which includes text, has 15 coloured reproductions, 1905-c. 1916. A quarter of Klimt's paintings, but very few drawings, are landscapes and these need to be considered in much greater depth and breadth than is possible here. However, as a whole, this book is highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Taschen publish brilliant art books at fantastic prices, 28 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Gustav Klimt 1862 - 1918 (Basic Art Album) (Paperback)
Taschen publish brilliant art books at fantastic prices. Very good reproduction of the pictures. Nice size book very readable. Great for traveling with.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Series, 29 Mar 2013
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Mrs P (Birmingham) - See all my reviews
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I like this series of books. Ideal if you want a detailed explanation of the artists work on one great masterpiece.
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3.0 out of 5 stars many words not so many prints, 21 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Gustav Klimt 1862 - 1918 (Basic Art Album) (Paperback)
'basic' is right and I made the mistake of allowing previous reviews to influence me. I wanted a book that showed me all Klimts works of art and this book shows considerably less than 50%. I was also hoping to see the gold in his art which in this book does not show on the prints. There is much writing about the artist and his life and how this affected his paintings.
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Gustav Klimt 1862 - 1918 (Basic Art Album)
Gustav Klimt 1862 - 1918 (Basic Art Album) by Gilles Neret (Paperback - 26 May 2000)
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