The Three Ages of Woman (1905) by Gustav Klimt

The Three Ages of Woman - Gustav Klimt - 1905

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Three Ages of Woman
ArtistGustav Klimt
Date1905
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions180 x 180 cm
Art MovementArt Nouveau
Current LocationGalleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (GNAM), Rome, Italy
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About The Three Ages of Woman

“The Three Ages of Woman,” created by Gustav Klimt in 1905, exemplifies the Art Nouveau movement through its oil on canvas medium. Measuring 180 cm by 180 cm, this symbolic painting is part of the collection at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (GNAM) in Rome, Italy.

The artwork presents a tender yet profound exploration of the human life cycle, depicting three females at different stages of life. On the left, Klimt portrays an elderly woman with a bowed head and a drained, pale complexion. Her posture and expression convey a sense of resignation and melancholy as she contemplates the passage of time. The central figure is a full-bodied woman holding a baby; she represents the fulfillment of maternity and the peak of femininity. Her flowing hair and tranquil expression suggest a deep connection to the child she cradles. The infant in her arms embodies innocence and the beginning of life’s journey, completing the cycle depicted.

Klimt’s masterful use of gold leaf and intricate patterns is evident throughout the artwork, particularly in the elaborate garments and the background, which are adorned with symbolic motifs and ornamental details that enhance the sensuality and richness of the painting. The contrast between the figures and the decorative elements highlights the theme of life’s transient stages against the timeless nature of beauty and art. The complexity of the composition and the rich symbolism make “The Three Ages of Woman” a quintessential piece of Klimt’s oeuvre and a celebrated work within the Art Nouveau movement.

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