Beethoven Frieze (detail) by Gustav Klimt, Das Werk lifetime collotype, 1908-1914
Original collotype created from a detail of Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze. Published and edited by Verlag H.O. Miethke and printed by k.k. Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, Vienna, in an edition of 300. Paper measures 18 1/2 x 18 inches. Exceptional condition commensurate with age. Image is pristine and will display beautifully.
Between 1908 and 1914, H.O. Miethke published Das Werk Gustav Klimts, a folio of collotypes representing Gustav Klimt’s most notable works leading up to 1913. Klimt’s original oil paintings were painstakingly reproduced as collotypes on a handmade, deckled-edge cream wove paper using a complex gravure process overseen by master technicians as well as the artist himself. Each image presented in the folio was assigned its own unique signet, which was designed by Klimt and struck below the image using a technique similar to letterpress. The signet corresponded to a matching signet in the justification page which detailed the piece’s size, location, and owner.
Published under the artist’s direct supervision, this series allowed Klimt, who had completely divorced himself from public commissions following the outcry from his University of Vienna paintings, to more effectively present his artworks to institutions and patrons across the world. A testament to the masterful design and printmaking demonstrated by Das Werk Gustav Klimts, Emperor Franz Joseph himself purchased the first copy of the folio.
"Beethoven Frieze was painted by Klimt in 1902 for the 14th Vienna Secessionist exhibition, which was intended to be a celebration of the composer and featured a monumental polychrome sculpture by Max Klinger. Meant for the exhibition only, the frieze was painted directly on the walls with light materials. After the exhibition the painting was preserved, although it did not go on display again until 1986. The Beethoven Frieze is now on permanent display in the Vienna Secession Building" (Gustav-Klimt.com).
Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze (detail) is an extraordinary example of the collotype process, capturing the superb resolution of the original 1901 painting on the walls of the Secession Building in Vienna.
Century Guild has curated collections of Gustav Klimt’s printed works on paper for over twenty years, and this artwork arrives accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Please contact us directly if you’d like to learn more about this artwork.