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The old Royal theatre

Painting, 1889, 82×92 cm

Description of the artwork «The old Royal theatre»

In 1879 Gustav and Ernst Klimt along with friend and co-student of the Vienna arts and crafts school Franz Match decided to organize his own gang, which he named the "Company of artists". Creative trio rather quickly began to receive orders (often young people helped their teachers), they were mostly decoration work. The skills and talent of ambitious novice artists did not go unnoticed, and soon the orders became so many that the Trinity had to withdraw from the study. The quality of work does not hurt, the brothers Klimt and the Match was constantly improved in the business through day-to-day practice. This is evidenced by the fact that in just four years the "Company of artists" became the most popular team in Vienna. In addition, they took orders from other cities and even from abroad.

In 1886 the "Company of artists" fulfilled the order for registration of the staircase in the new Royal theatre in Vienna. Here Klimt and his colleagues depicted a production of "Romeo and Juliet" at London's globe theatre of Shakespeare's time. The audience was delighted with the work, in particular, from the masterfully written those characters (by the way, among spectators Klimt portrayed himself and his colleagues in appropriate costumes). For this almost photographic accuracy is to thank the teachers of art school, who encouraged the young artists to spend long hours copying photos. For this work, "Company of artists" received a prize from the Austrian Emperor.

And soon after, Klimt received the new prestige order, again on a theatrical theme: the artist had to represent the audience during a performance in the old Royal theatre. When the news about the future of canvas spread among the Viennese high society, the artist has lined up a whole queue of people wanting to depict them in the painting. According to critics, before you take the painting "the Old Royal theater Klimt did about a thousand sketches. To work the artist used a mixture of matte paints, honey and gum, which is the Foundation of gouache. The artist has depicted about 150 people, most of whom were real prototypes. The painting "Old Royal theatre" is hardly a masterpiece, but it was for Klimt a great marketing move, bringing him even more popularity, and second Imperial award.

Author: Eugene Sidelnikov
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Genre scene, Interior

Style of art: Art Nouveau, Realism

Technique: Gouache

Materials: Paper

Date of creation: 1889

Size: 82×92 cm

Artwork in selections: 46 selections