Museums and Art

Court Theater Actor Joseph Lewinsky as Don Carlos, Gustav Klimt

Court Theater Actor Joseph Lewinsky as Don Carlos, Gustav Klimt

The actor of the court theater Joseph Lewinsky in the role of Don Carlos - Gustav Klimt. 1895

In 1895, Klimt again turned to the theme of theater in the work "Actor of the court theater Josef Lewinsky in the role of Don Carlos"(Austrian Belvedere Gallery, Vienna). Here we again observe the almost photographic accuracy of the transfer of individual facial features characteristic of the artist.

The deaf background does not carry a semantic load, but only "represents" the hero. To bring symbolic subtext to the canvas, the author uses a wide border-frame framing the picture. The theater spotlight hints at the belonging of the theater portrayed to the world, and in the light emanating from the lamp, an unsteady image of a smiling young woman with a frightening mask in her hands and an eerie male face behind her appears. An explanation of these visions may need to be sought in Schiller’s drama, in which Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Don Carlos is staged. So, a woman with a mask can personify the cunning and betrayal of one of her heroines.


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