Klimt in the crossfire

The controversies around one of Gustav Klimt’s most famous paintings are now documented at a Viennese museum.

The exhibit – currently on display at the Austrian Theatre Museum (Österreichische Theatermuseum, http://www.theatermuseum.at) – reflects the public feud which “Nuda Veritas” sparked in 1899 and the following years.

Hermann Bahr, an Austrian writer who purchased the painting, decided to garner the various newspaper and magazine articles published regarding “Nuda Veritas”, a picture which shows a woman in full-frontal nudity. His release bears the same name as the exhibition: “Gegen Klimt” (Against Klimt) and is still seen as essential when it comes to analysing the fin de siècle.

The collection of vilifying statements exposes the motives of many opponents of the artist and his associates as an explosive concoction of envy, unfounded conservatism and a strict dislike of the artist’s output.

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