Gustav Klimt ‘Tree of Life’
The Tree of Life is a meaningful image we can encounter in many mythologies. It symbolizes the link between the realms of heaven, mortal life and the underworld, and Gustav Klimt’s best-known mural addresses the same concept. For the artist’s fans, it’s also important as the only landscape Klimt completed in his heyday. During that period, he combined oils with gold paint to create artworks that looked incredibly modern and luxurious. Painting his ‘Tree of Life,’ Gustav Klimt used a bold and unique manner that instantly draws the eye and challenges us to find its underlying meaning.
Symbols and interpretations
- - The spiraling gold branches fill up most of the canvas signifying the complexity and perpetuity of life. Thick swirls, fragile vines and budding leaves form a glittering pattern that spreads beyond our sight limits. Reaching up high into the sky, the tree is rooted in the ground beneath, forming a bridge between the two planes of existence. We can also see its roots descending into the underworld where all living things end their eternal cycle. The painting once again reminds us that everything is ruled by the final determinism, being born, growing and then going back into the earth where it came from.
- - There is, however, another image here that is clearly symbolic. The two figures, masculine and feminine, express the harmony of two beginnings: vigor, purpose, endeavor on one hand and care, nourishment and growth on the other. This union of opposites creates life itself and the Tree of Life, too.
- - Another opinion suggests the work signifies a person’s best virtues – beauty, strength and wisdom. The upward branches symbolize our aspiration to achieve new heights, yet our roots keep us down on the ground.
- - Using gold paint to depict a magical world, Klimt also adds basic black to set off the luster of the scene. In the center of the composition, there is a black bird standing out against the shimmering background. Being a representation of death in many cultures, it means that everything ends and nothing stays forever except this.
Plant the ‘Tree’ on your wall
‘Tree of Life’ by Gustav Klimt will look great in your home. And although you obviously can’t have the real thing, our high-quality oil replica will do just fine. Premium paints and original techniques will give you the impression of looking at Klimt’s actual work!