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Gustav Klimt’s art, denounced in his lifetime, captivates today

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A bearded man with unkempt hair and wearing wrinkled work clothes stared out of a portrait photo of Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.

It was on display as part of the “Gustav Klimt: Vienna-Japan 1900” exhibition, which runs through July 10.

I found it quite hard to reconcile this image with his art, which typically features sensuous women and the liberal use of gold leaf.

“Klimt paid no attention to his personal appearance,” said Akiko Kobayashi, the museum’s curator in charge of this exhibition. “He never married, but his liaisons with women appear to have gone far and wide.”


© The Asahi Shimbun