The story of one of the greatest artist of modern times and of the women depicted in his art as beautiful idols, tender mothers, or provocative, but never vulgar, predators, always portrayed with elegance and tenderness. Women who were so important to Klimt they became his inspiration.
Gustav Klimt lived in Vienna, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian empire and the heart of European culture. These are the years of the Viennese secession, the birth of psychoanalysis, of Mahler and Schönberg’s symphonies and literary cafes. An exceptional time, masterfully bought to life by Paola Romagnoli in this fictional story, told from two different points of view, one the story of the artist’s life in chronological order, the other a “metaphysical” voice, embodied by a mermaid in the Attersee, a lake in the Salzkammergut region, west of Vienna, representing the painter’s soul. The mermaid represents everything the Klimt pursued in women: sensuality and Eros, ageless youth, mother and lover, in other words a myth. A symbol of the passage between life and death as the reader accompanies Klimt in his last days of life, before he died of a stroke in 1918. With the talent of a writer and the knowledge of an art historian Paola Romagnoli draws the reader into a fascinating biography which explains how Gustav Klimt, going against the conservative ideals of his time period, created erotic and symbolic paintings that represented the dreams, hopes and fears of the man who became known as the painter of women.