National Gallery of Canada / Musée des beaux-arts du Canada

Bulletin 17, 1971

Annual Index
Author & Subject

Gustav Klimt's "Hope I"

by Johannes Dobai  

Pages  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 


1 Oil on canvas, 74 1/2 x 26 3/8 in., purchased from Galleria Galatea, Turin, 1970. Further details in Fritz Novotny and Johannes Dobai, Gustav Klimt: with a Catalogue Raisonné of His Paintings, trans. by Karen Olga Philippson (London: Thames &Hudson, and New York: Praeger, 1968), no.129 (hereinafter referred to as Novotny-Dobai). Bibliography subsequent to Novotny-Dobai and following notes:

Christian M. Nebehay , Gustav Klimt Dokumentation, Vienna, 1969, pp. 417, 428ff: Werner Hoffmann, Gustav Klimt und die Wiener Jahrhundertwende, Salzburg, 1970, p. 49 and pl. 26. Myron Laskin, Jr., "Hope I by Gustav Klimt", Burlington Magazine, February, 1972, p. 122.

Hope I was also exhibited in Angst tmd Hoffnung in unserer Zeit, Darmstadt, 1965; Il sacro e il profano nell' arte dei Simbolisti, Turin, Galleria Civica d' Arte Moderna, 1969, no.369; and The Sacred and Profane in Symbolist Art, Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1969, no. 345. (Two allegedly related drawings were in the Sonderausstellung Gustav Klimt - Henri Matisse, Darmstadt, Mathildenhohe, 1970, nos. 55, 56.

2 Novotny-Dobai, no.155.

3 Ludwig Hevesi, "Zur Klimt Ausstellung, 15 November 1903", in his Acht jahre Secession (Marz 1897 - Juni 1905): Kritik-polemik-chronik (Vienna: C. Konegen, 1906), p. 446. 

4 Novotny-Dobai, no.128. According to Hevesi, Klimt worked at Jurisprudence until July 1903, and again after the summer holidays. For the history of the three paintings, see Alice Strobl, "Zu den Fakultiitsbildern von Gustav Klimt", Albertina Studien, no. 4 (1964), pp. 138-69. For reactions by critics, see also Christian Nebehay, Gustav Klimt: Dokumentation (Vienna: Nebehay, 1969), ch. XVII, XIX, XXV (hereinafter referred to as Nebehay).

5 Hevesi, loc. cit.

6 Ludwig Hevesi, "Das Haus Waerndorfer (1905)", in Altkunst-Neukunst, Wien 1894-1908 (Vienna, 1909), p. 223.

7 The interview with Klimt was published in the Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung of 12 April 1905; reprinted, with notes on text variations, in Strobl, pp. 161-63.

8 Referring, of course, to the University paintings commission.

9 For identification of the "shocking" painting as Hope I, see Strobl, p. 169, n. 115 (With archival documentation).

10 No. 101 of this exhibition.

11 "Dear Fritz, the painting is totally unfinished, especially in the figures, heads, hands; it is, in its present form, incomprehensible (artistically incomprehensible). I can't believe it will ever amount to anything. I count on having the painting back by Friday morning. Greetings, Gustav Klimt" (Karl Moser, "Unbekannte Briefe Gustav Klimts: Wie der grosse Maler schuf", Neues Wiener Journal, 3 January 1932, p. 10; also in Nebehay, p. 436, n. 2.

A thorough technical examination has been made of the picture in the National Gallery laboratory by Ursus Dix and J. McGregor Grant. The canvas is painted extremely thinly. There are no changes in composition evident in X-rays and if Klimt only a few years later did make various refinements or adjustments to the surface, or added glazes, these can only have been superficial and unimportant.

12 Hevesi, "Das Haus Waerndorfer", loc. cit.

13 Ludwig Hevesi, "lnternationale Kunstschau, Wien 1909", Zeitschrift für Bildende Kunst, New Series vol. 20 (1909), pp. 221 ff:

14 Ibid.

15 William Butler Yeats, "Symbolism in Painting", in his Essays and Introductions (London: Macmillan, 1961), pp. 146-52.

16 See, for instance, Gunnar Berefelt, "On Symbol and Allegory", in Konsthistoriska studier tillägnade Sten Karling, ed. by Erik Forssman, Brita Linde and Armin Tuulse (Stockholm: Konsthistoriska institutionem, Kungliga Universitet, 1966), pp. 321-40.

17 Novotny-Dobai, no.113.

18 Robert Pincus-Witten, "The Iconography of Symbolist Painting", Art Journal, vol. 8, January 1970, pp. 56-62. I wish to thank Dr. Myron Laskin, Jr., for having brought this essay to my attention and for having made it available to me.

19 Ibid., p. 62.

20 For example, see Johannes Dobai, "Zu Gustav Klimt's Gemalde Der Kuss", Mitteilungen der osterreichischen Galerie (Vienna), vol. 12 (1968), pp. 115-16.

21 Hevesi, "Das Haus Waerndorfer", pp. 223-24.

22 Arthur Roessler, "Klimt und seine Modelle", Arbeiter-zeitung (Vienna), 15 August 1953, p. 10. See also Nebehay, pp.428-30.

23 Novotny-Dobai, no.112. The oil sketch (no. 88) had already been criticized as immoral but did not contain a pregnant woman.

24 Hevesi, Achtjahre Secession, p. 317.

25 See illustrations of the stages in Novotny-Dobai, no. 112; better still in Nebehay , ch. XIX, where the state of the painting during the exhibition in the spring of 1901 is shown in figs. 340 and 349.

26. See Nebehay, figs. 346-48.

27. On Aubrey Beardsley, see Brian Reade, Beardsley, in trod. by John Rothenstein (London: Studio Vista, 1967), introd. and no. 269, repr. pl. 273.

28. Munch's print is Schiefler no. 33. The interpretation by Edith Hoffman, "Some Sources for Munch's Symbolism", Apollo, vol. 81 (1965), pp. 88-89.

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