- Gustav Klimt
- Litzlberg am Attersee
- Signed Gustav Klimt (lower right)
- Oil on canvas
Viktor Zuckerkandl, Vienna
Viktor & Paula Zuckerkandl Estate (1928)
Amalie Redlich, Vienna (acquired from the Estate of the above after 1928)
Seized from the above by the Gestapo after the Anschluss in 1938
Galerie Welz, Salzburg
Museum der Moderne, Rupertinum, Salzburg
Restituted to the heir of Amalie Redlich in 2011
Vienna (XCIX Secession Exhibition), 1928, no. 57
Dusseldorf, Kunsthalle, Meisterwerke österreichischer Malerei 1800-1930, 1959, no. 72
Vienna, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, 2002-03, no. 51, illustrated in the catalogue
Liverpool, Tate, Gustav Klimt, Painting, Design and Modern Life in Vienna 1900, 2008, no. 190, illustrated in color in the catalogue
Gustav Klimt. Eine Nachlese. Mit Einer Einleitung von Benno Fleischmann, Vienna, 1946, p. 15, illustrated pl. 8
Marie-José Liechtenstein, "Gustav Klimt und seine oberösterreichischen Salzkammergutlandschaften," in Kunst in Österreich 1851-1951. Beiträge zur osterreichischen Kunstgeschichte des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts, Linz, 1951, no. 43
Fritz Novotny & Johannes Dobai, Gustav Klimt, 1967, no. 192, illustrated p, 362 (as dating from 1915)
Ulrich Mellitzer, "Vom anderen Zustand. Ein kurzer phänomenologischer Vergleich Gustav Klimts mit der japanischen Malerei," in Inselräume, Teschner, Klimt & Flöge am Attersee, Seewalchen, 1989, p. 75
Alfred Weidinger, Der Landschaftsmaler (exhibition catalogue), Kunsthaus, Zurich, 1992, p. 56
Alfred Weidinger, ed., Gustav Klimt, Munich, 2007, no. 221, illustrated in color p. 299 (as dating from 1914)
Klimt's dramatic view of the lush environs of Lake Attersee is among his most accomplished and celebrated landscapes. The sumptuous palette and the jewel-like surface evidence Klimt's poetic opulence at its most magnificent and evoke the decorative tendency displayed in earlier landscapes. In Litzlberg am Attersee the scene rises like a vertical wall of natural splendor and man-made artifact.
Klimt and his model Emilie Flöge spent the summer months of 1914 in Weissenbach on the south shore of Attersee, where a relative of the Flöge sisters lived. The couple returned there the following two summers, usually staying between July and mid-September. The sisters, their mother Barbara, and the young Helene Klimt moved into the house next door to their relative, while Klimt found lodgings in the forester's house on the outskirts at the entrance to the Weissenbach valley. The forester's house where Klimt stayed was the subject of two of his paintings, Forsthaus in Weissenbach am Attersee, now in the Neue Galerie, New York and Landhaus am Attersee. Despite their separate lodgings, Klimt and the Flöges spent most of the time together; the artist was often seen in his caftan-like cloak taking photographs or painting, although he rarely had contact with the local inhabitants.
Although this picture has been historically dated to 1915, recent scholarship by Alfred Weidinger, Michaela Seiser and Eva Winkler reveals that Klimt probably painted Litzlberg am Attersee in the latter half of 1914 whilst at his studio in Vienna. It is believed that the format for this composition is based on a bromide postcard of the Attersee lake which the artist had sent to his nephew on 13 August 1914. Both the present work and that photograph feature a narrow band of water and the lakefront houses in the foreground, set against the massive swell of the wooded hillside, with only a sliver of sky visible at the top-right edge of the composition. The buildings along the shore have been identified as the houses surrounding a brewery and the Mayr farm, and can also be seen in a related composition entitled Litzlberg, painted in 1914.
Klimt builds up his vision of the town through a bold mosaic of tessellated colors, the cool blue and green tones punctuated by the bright orange of the roofs. As in many of his later works, here Klimt used strong outlines and geometric shapes, under the influence of Schiele's townscapes of Krumau. The effect is one of a flattening-out of the landscape, creating a richly textured surface that nevertheless retains great depth in its subtle modulation of color. The houses are depicted frontally, and appear to be stacked on top of each other, rising in a dramatic, vertiginous perspective. In this surface patterning, Klimt's Litzlberg am Attersee is perhaps inspired by the folk tapestry and stained glass window techniques in which German and Austrian artists took a keen interest in the first decades of the twentieth century.
This work once formed part of one of the most important early collections of Klimt's work, that of the Austro-Hungarian iron magnate and collector Viktor Zuckerkandl (1851-1927, fig. 7) and his wife Paula. Viktor Zuckerkandl and his siblings were among the greatest patrons of the arts in turn of the century Vienna, and the couple acquired several masterpieces, including the present work and Kirche in Cassone, directly from the artist. They were members of the circle of intellectuals, writers and collectors that included luminaries such as Ferdinand and Adele Bloch-Bauer, August and Serena Lederer and Gustav Mahler. Viktor was also a patron of the Secessionist architect Josef Hoffmann, from whom he commissioned the Wiener Werkstätt architectural masterpiece, the Sanatorium Purkersdorf (fig. 5), which Viktor founded and ran on the outskirts of Vienna. Hoffmann also designed the brass frame of the present work. Paula Zuckerkandl was painted by Klimt in 1912, in a monumental oil that was probably destroyed during Second World War.
When the Zuckerkandls died childless in 1927, part of their extraordinary collection was sold and the remainder passed onto his extended family. Litzlberg am Attersee entered the collection of Viktor's sister Amalie Redlich, who, together with her daughter Mathilde, was deported to Lodz in 1941 and never heard of again. Since 1944, Litzlberg am Attersee has been in collection of the Residenzgalerie (Museum der Moderne, Rupertinum) of Salzburg, who ultimately returned the painting to Amalie Redlich's heir in the spring of 2011. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this magnificent picture will be donated to the museum in Salzburg to build an extension that will be named in Redlich's honor.