Monday, 31 May 2010

In the Country of Lost Things

Gustav Klimt's Schubert at the Piano. One of the most amazing, most angelic paintings, though it no longer exists. It was burned by the retreating SS at Immendorf Palace in 1945. This is the best of the surviving photographs that I've seen. But one can still only guess what that hazy room, those softly lit faces, those sparkling clothes might have looked like in reality...I can't help but think that Klimt was (perhaps unknowingly, unwittingly) playing with the notion of time, here. It's almost as if this is a moment still-in-the-process of being captured, absorbing into and out of existence. Like images being developed in a camera (camera, literally meaning 'room'): only this is a snapshot as sensitive and as sensuous as Proust.

Just look at the fabric of those dresses, momentous as galaxies.

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