Gustav Klimt’s Haunting Paintings Get Re-Created in Photographs, Featuring Live Models, Ornate Props & Real Gold

Image by Inge Prad­er

Gus­tav Klimt paint­ed a glit­ter­ing, erot­ic, haunt­ing real­i­ty of his own, dis­tinc­tive even by the stan­dards of his artis­ti­cal­ly abun­dant envi­ron­ment of late 19th- and ear­ly 20th-cen­tu­ry Vien­na. “Who­ev­er wants to know some­thing about me,” he once wrote in a com­men­tary on the self-por­trait he nev­er paint­ed, “ought to look care­ful­ly at my pic­tures.” Giv­en the lev­el of scruti­ny with which she’s no doubt had to look at his pic­tures, Klimt’s coun­try­woman Inge Prad­er must there­fore know every­thing about the painter there is to know.

Image by Inge Prad­er

A pho­tog­ra­ph­er with a wide vari­ety of cor­po­rate clients, Prad­er has drawn a good deal of atten­tion by shoot­ing recre­ations of Klimt’s can­vass­es made for Vien­na’s Life Ball, an AIDS char­i­ty event, using real mod­els, real cos­tumes, and real gold. That last has a par­tic­u­lar impor­tance, giv­en Prader’s focus on paint­ings from the “Gold­en Phase” that Klimt entered after becom­ing a suc­cess. “In 1903 Klimt vis­it­ed Venice, Ravenne and Flo­rence,” writes Kon­bini’s Don­nia Ghe­zlane-Lala. “It was his vis­it to the San Vitale basil­i­ca in Ravenne that struck him the most. Fas­ci­nat­ed by Byzan­tine mosaics, he decid­ed to inte­grate the colour gold into his work using gold paper and gold leaf. Also, fun fact, Klimt was the son of a gold­smith.”

Image by Inge Prad­er

Prader’s “care­ful­ly posed mod­els and intri­cate­ly craft­ed props dupli­cate some of Klimt’s most icon­ic mas­ter­works like Death and Life and Beethoven Frieze, mir­ror­ing the gold hued, high­ly dec­o­ra­tive and erot­ic aes­thet­ic the Aus­tri­an artist became best known for,” writes Design­boom’s Nina Azzarel­lo. “Rich­ly orna­ment­ed cos­tumes cloth­ing war­riors and women alike are sit­u­at­ed along­side semi-nude fig­ures and set against detailed mosa­ic back­drops.” These “par­adise-like con­di­tions” on the can­vas trans­fer sur­pris­ing­ly well to pho­tog­ra­phy, espe­cial­ly with the eye Prad­er has devel­oped in fash­ion and adver­tis­ing, two realms guar­an­teed to instill any­body with a pos­i­tive­ly Klimt-like appre­ci­a­tion for strik­ing com­po­si­tions, lux­u­ri­ous mate­ri­als, and beau­ti­ful women.

You can see more of Prader’s Klimt recre­ations at Kon­bi­ni and Design­boom.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Pho­tog­ra­ph­er Cre­ates Stun­ning Real­is­tic Por­traits That Recre­ate Sur­re­al Scenes from Hierony­mus Bosch Paint­ings

Flash­mob Recre­ates Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” in a Dutch Shop­ping Mall

How Famous Paint­ings Inspired Cin­e­mat­ic Shots in the Films of Taran­ti­no, Gilliam, Hitch­cock & More: A Big Super­cut

Name That Paint­ing!

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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  • Petteri says:

    God what kitsch (the pho­tos that is). “Cov­er them up nice­ly” (Except that the reverse was done with the reaper for some rea­son…) At least this would have been inter­est­ing if they had attempt­ed to copy the pos­es in the paint­ings.

  • Painting Artist says:

    Such a great Post!! Thanks For Shar­ing. Your all paint­ings are look­ing excel­lent and real you are a Famous paint­ing artist.

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