Mermaids (Whitefish) by Gustav Klimt, created in 1899, is a painting that features the artist’s signature use of gold backgrounds and mosaic patterns. This artwork depicts a new form of art and sensual depiction of water and the female body. It is part of the Faculty Paintings that Klimt started work on in 1900 as commissioned murals for Vienna University.
The painting falls under Klimt’s “Golden Phase” and exemplifies Art Nouveau painting with its elaborate ornamentation, intricate lines, and decorative motifs. The artwork explores an intimate relationship between women and nature through its portrayal of mysterious mermaids rising from what appears to be a sea filled with whitefish. It is said that these figures represent sea creatures with human qualities or vice versa where women are portrayed as ethereal beings emerging from the water.
Mermaids (Whitefish) was sold for an undisclosed amount to an anonymous private collector in the late 1990s but remains publicly accessible as it is part of public domain art history. However, many people can still view reproductions or canvas prints available for purchase online or otherwise.
In conclusion, Mermaids (Whitefish) by Gustav Klimt serves as a reflection on how relationships between humans and nature could be depicted symbolically through art forms such as this one. Its ornamental style highlights some key aspects of Art Nouveau’s themes like sensuality blended into nature imagery.