The Longing for Happiness Finds Repose in Poetry

The Beethoven Frieze: The Longing for Happiness Finds Repose in Poetry. Right wall, by Gustav Klimt, 1902.

From This painting, created for the Vienna Secession exhibition of 1914, was intended to be a celebration of the great composer Ludwig von Beethoven. As it was meant solely for the exhibition, Klimt painted the mural lightly on the walls at the Vienna Secession Building. After the exhibition, the painting was preserved, but it was not again displayed until 1986, where it remains on display today. The mural’s popularity has cemented its fame as portions of it were printed on the Austrian 100 euro coin in 2004. The coin contains less suggestive elements of the painting, including a knight in armor symbolizing strength, a woman holding a wreath of victory symbolizing ambition, and a woman with head held down and clasped hands, symbolizing sympathy.

Click on the image for a larger view.

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