Marking the centenary of Rodin’s death in 1917 and that of Gustav Klimt in 1918, KLIMT & RODIN: An Artistic Encounter examines the diverse connections between these artists and their impact upon the art world. While Rodin is widely regarded as “the father of modern sculpture,” Klimt was a groundbreaking painter and a founding member of the modernist Vienna Secession movement.
This exhibition marks the first survey of Klimt’s work in California. Sharing the galleries with the Legion of Honor’s important holdings of Rodin works will be examples from Klimt’s oeuvre on loan from public and private collections in the United States and Europe, including the artist’s estate in Vienna and the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, which holds the world’s largest and finest collection of Klimt paintings anywhere.
Klimt and Rodin are known to have met only once, at the “Beethoven Exhibition” mounted by the Vienna Secession in 1902. Rodin was especially fascinated by the notion of the collaborative “total work of art” (Gesamtkunstwerk) achieved through the mutually enriching juxtaposition of painting, sculpture, music, and installation design.