Arts Everyday Living: Happy 161st Birthday to Gustav Klimt–Through a Baby’s Eyes

Gustav Klimt, Baby (Cradle), 1917/1918, oil on canvas, Gift of Otto and Franziska Kallir with help of Carol and Edwin Gaines Fullinwider Fund, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.



July 14 is the anniversary of Gustav Klimt’s birth 161 years ago in Vienna! His “gold” paintings have become artistic icons in the 20th and 21st centuries, from the erotic, unforgettable The Kiss to the magnificently regal Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, its theft by the Nazis and eventual return to the family owners, the subject of a renowned book plus film.

Yet, how many of us are familiar with the Baby (Cradle) which currently hangs in the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art, part of its modern and contemporary art collection? The mystery infant swaddled in one of the most decorative coverings in art–a patchwork of quilt-like, multi-colored patterns and designs (including what resembles a face?). As if celebrating the new arrival who rises above us, on a fabric hill perhaps created more by Klimt’s imagination rather than any human hand.

Why not google other stunning works by Klimt (1862-1918):

Flower Garden, 1905-1907, Private Collection

Farm Garden with Sunflowers, 1907, Galerie Belvedere, Vienna

Avenue in Schloss Kammer Park, 1912, Galerie Belvedere, Vienna

Birch Forest, 1903, Galerie Belvedere, Vienna



In the public domain, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The National Gallery of Art does not endorse or approve use of the above image or any of the material on this website. Nor has the National Gallery of Art participated in any projects utilizing the said image.

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