KLIMT & RODIN: An Artistic Encounter

By Tobias G. Natter, Max Hollein, Martin Chapman, Matthias Haldemann, Michael Kausch, and Renée Price

Published on the occasion of a major exhibition at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, KLIMT & RODIN: An Artistic Encounter showcases the work of two titans of modernism. Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862–1918) was a founding member of the Viennese Secession movement and Auguste Rodin (French, 1840–1917) has been heralded as the “father of modern sculpture.” Both broke with aesthetic conventions to alter irrevocably the course of art history in the twentieth century.

This elegant volume examines the two artists in relationship to one another, charting such similarities as their emergence from Symbolism; the controversy that surrounded some of their most distinctive works; and their exploration of the themes of human psychology, sexuality, desire, and compassion. They died three months apart, and this presentation celebrates their contributions to modernism on the one-hundred-year anniversary of their deaths.

Five essays along with supplemental texts highlight and contextualize the achievements of the painter and the sculptor. Tobias G. Natter illuminates the extraordinary links between the two artists, and shares commentaries on many of Klimt’s iconic paintings. Martin Chapman details Rodin’s celebrity in the early twentieth century at around the time he met Klimt in Vienna. Michael Kausch explores the incredible sense of humanity both artists held and applied to their art. Matthias Haldemann describes the two artists within the larger cultural sphere, which included the writers Rainer Maria Rilke and Hugo von Hofmannsthal and the painter Egon Schiele. And Renée Price writes about two of the artists’ most beloved works that share the same name: The Kiss.

Replete with lavish reproductions of many of the artists’ key pieces, including an opening gallery of details from Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze, which Rodin viewed in 1902, and archival photographs of the two men and their studios, KLIMT & RODIN: An Artistic Encounter offers an intimate view of the blossoming of modernism through two of its most impassioned creators.


Tobias G. Natter, former director of the Leopold Museum, Vienna, is the proprietor of Natter Fine Arts, Vienna. He frequently curates exhibitions and is the author of numerous publications, including the catalogues raisonnés Egon Schiele: The Complete Paintings 1909–1918 (2017) and Gustav Klimt: Complete Paintings (2012).

Max Hollein is the director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Among his many publications are Art for All: The Colour Woodcut in Vienna around 1900 (2016), which he coedited with Natter and Klaus Albrecht Schröder, and The Naked Truth: Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka and Other Scandals (2005), which he coedited with Natter.

Martin Chapman is the curator in charge of decorative arts and sculpture at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. He has authored, most recently, The Sculpture of Auguste Rodin at the Legion of Honor (2017).

Matthias Haldemann is the director of the Kunsthaus Zug, Switzerland. He has written and edited several books about modern and contemporary art, including the catalogues raisonnés Ilya Kabakov: Installations 2000–2017 (2017) and Ilya Kabakov: Artist Books 1958–2009 (2009) and Kandinsky (2016).

Michael Kausch is a professor of art history at the Institut für Kunstwissenschaft, University of Koblenz, Germany. He has published extensively within the fields of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art history, art philosophy, and aesthetics.

Renée Price is the founding director of Neue Galerie New York. She has curated and contributed to several major exhibitions and publications for the museum, including Gustav Klimt: The Ronald S. Lauder and Serge Sabarsky Collections (2007) and New Worlds: German and Austrian Art 1890–1940 (2001).

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