Frida Kahlo

Parkstone International
Free sample

Behind Frida Kahlo’s portraits, lies the story of both her life and work. It is precisely this combination that draws the reader in. Frida’s work is a record of her life, and rarely can we learn so much about an artist from what she records inside the picture frame. Frida Kahlo truly is Mexico’s gift to the history of art. She was just eighteen years old when a terrible bus accident changed her life forever, leaving her handicapped and burdened with constant physical pain. But her explosive character, raw determination and hard work helped to shape her artistic talent. And although he was an obsessive womanizer, the great painter Diego Rivera was by her side. She won him over with her charm, talent and intelligence, and Kahlo learnt to lean on the success of her companion in order to explore the world, thus creating her own legacy whilst finding herself surrounded by a close-knit group of friends. Her personal life was turbulent, as she frequently left her relationship with Diego to one side whilst she cultivated her own bisexual relationships. Despite this, Frida and Diego managed to save their frayed relationship. The story and the paintings that Frida left us display a courageous account of a woman constantly on a search of self discovery.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Parkstone International
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Published on
Sep 15, 2015
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Pages
308
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ISBN
9781783107438
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / Caribbean & Latin American
Art / General
Art / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)
Art / Individual Artists / Monographs
Art / Subjects & Themes / Human Figure
Art / Techniques / Painting
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Eligible for Family Library

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“I am not interested in myself as a subject for painting, but in others, particularly women...”Beautiful, sensuous and above all erotic, Gustav Klimt’s paintings speak of a world of opulence and leisure, which seems aeons away from the harsh, post-modern environment we live in now. The subjects he treats – allegories, portraits, landscapes and erotic figures – contain virtually no reference to external events, but strive rather to create a world where beauty, above everything else, is dominant. His use of colour and pattern was profoundly influenced by the art of Japan, ancient Egypt, and Byzantium. Ravenne, the flat, two-dimensional perspective of his paintings, and the frequently stylised quality of his images form an oeuvre imbued with a profound sensuality and one where the figure of woman, above all, reigns supreme. Klimt’s very first works brought him success at an unusually young age. Gustav, born in 1862, obtained a state grant to study at Kunstgewerbeschule (the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts) at the age of fourteen. His talents as a draughtsman and painter were quickly noticed, and in 1879 he formed the Künstlercompagnie (Artists’ Company) with his brother Ernst and another student, Franz Matsch. The latter part of the nineteenth century was a period of great architectural activity in Vienna. In 1857, the Emperor Franz Joseph had ordered the destruction of the fortifications that had surrounded the medieval city centre. The Ringstrasse was the result, a budding new district with magnificent buildings and beautiful parks, all paid for by public expenses. Therefore the young Klimt and his partners had ample opportunities to show off their talents, and they received early commissions to contribute to the decorations for the pageant organised to celebrate the silver wedding anniversary of the Emperor Franz Joseph and the Empress Elisabeth. In 1894, Matsch moved out of their communal studio, and in 1897 Klimt, together with his closest friends, resigned from the Künstlerhausgenossenschaft (the Cooperative Society of Austrian Artists) to form a new movement known as the Secession, of which he was immediately elected president. The Secession was a great success, holding both a first and second exhibition in 1898. The movement made enough money to commission its very own building, designed for it by the architect Joseph Maria Olbrich. Above the entrance was its motto: “To each age its art, to art its freedom.” From around 1897 onward, Klimt spent almost every summer on the Attersee with the Flöge family. These were periods of peace and tranquillity in which he produced the landscape paintings constituting almost a quarter of his entire oeuvre. Klimt made sketches for virtually everything he did. Sometimes there were over a hundred drawings for one painting, each showing a different detail – a piece of clothing or jewellery, or a simple gesture. Just how exceptional Gustav Klimt was is perhaps reflected in the fact that he had no predecessors and no real followers. He admired Rodin and Whistler without slavishly copying them, and was admired in turn by the younger Viennese painters Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka, both of whom were greatly influenced by Klimt.
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