Through line, Gustav Klimt sought to convey the essence of the human form and the nature of human existence. Learn about his artistic process in this video.
Zeitgeist: Art in the Germanic World 1800–1900
February 10–May 17, 2015Getty Center
Between 1800 and 1900 the Germanic world underwent profound intellectual, social, economic, and political changes. The Industrial Revolution, the formal unification of Germany into a nation state, and the invention of psychoanalysis shaped modern life and its representations in art.
Philosopher Georg Wilhelm Hegel professed that art was a fundamental mode of consciousness whereby humans could reach a profound understanding of themselves and the world. Art reflected the spirit of the age (“Zeitgeist” in German) in which it was created, and this influential notion held sway throughout the 19th century. Drawing proved to be an essential expression of the period.
This two-gallery exhibition, which includes the works of Caspar David Friedrich, Philipp Otto Runge, and Gustav Klimt, brings together paintings, drawings, and prints from the Museum's collection, the Getty Research Institute, and distinguished local private collections.
Works in this exhibition are organized thematically:
Views of Italy: Many German artists were drawn to Rome and the Italian peninsula, where the remains of classical antiquity and the picturesque scenery of the countryside inspired working from nature.
Caspar David Friedrich and Philipp Otto Runge: The transcendent domination of nature over human life, a defining theme of German Romantic art, received its greatest expression in the art of Caspar David Friedrich and Philipp Otto Runge.
Myths, History, and Daily Life: Art academies assumed prominence for the training of young artists, and emphasized traditional figural subjects from myths, history, and daily life.
Austria-Hungary: Vienna served as the cultural hub of Austria-Hungary, where artistic modernism flourished, led by the Viennese Secession movement and artists such as Gustav Klimt.
Free GettyGuide® Multimedia Player
Learn more about individual works in Zeitgeist chosen from the Museum's collection. Pick up a multimedia player free of charge in the Museum Entrance Hall.