TO MY CRITICS by Bob Kessel

TO MY CRITICS by Bob Kessel
after Gustav Klimt
“TO MY CRITICS” by Bob Kessel, is from his art series “KLIMT VERKLEMPT” based on the works of Gustav Klimt. This picture and many others, can be purchased as signed and numbered limited edition original fine art prints. Contact Bob Kessel for prices and availability.
The Klimt University of Vienna Ceiling Paintings, also known as the Faculty Paintings, were a series of paintings made by Gustav Klimt for the ceiling of the University of Vienna’s Great Hall between the years of 1900-1907. In 1894, Klimt was commissioned to paint the ceiling. Upon presenting his paintings, Philosophy, Medicine and Jurisprudence, Klimt came under attack for ‘pornography’ and ‘perverted excess’ in the paintings. None of the paintings would go on display in the university. In May 1945 all three paintings were destroyed by retreating SS forces.
Gustav Klimt’s painting Medicine (1901), which was destroyed in 1945.
The photo was taken at the time and is the only surviving picture of the painting.
The paintings were attacked by critics when they were presented, as each painting broke different cultural taboos, contradicting the trend of the era to ‘sublimate reality and to only present its more favourable aspects.
The paintings also drew the standard charges of obscenity which Klimt often faced. Eighty-seven faculty members protested against the murals, and in 1901 a public prosecutor was called in and the issue even reached the Parliament of Austria, the first time that a cultural debate had ever been raised there, but in the end no action was taken. Only the education minister defended Klimt, and when Klimt was elected to be a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in 1901 the government refused to ratify the action. He was never offered another teaching position. This would also be the last time Klimt would accept commissions from the state, remarking: “I’ve had enough of censorship…I reject all state support, I don’t want any of it.”
klimt - goldfish-to-my-critics
A later painting of his entitled Goldfish (to my critics) (1901-1902) which showed a smiling, beautiful woman projecting her bottom at the viewer, an obvious response to all those who attacked the ‘pornography’ and perverted excess’ of the University paintings.

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