Int. Studio & Seminar 2: Bridge Project 1 – Retracing Steps.


“Death and Life” Gustav Klimt

Leopold Museum

In this piece, Klimt painted life and death. Life being shown by a mass of people of all generations and death shown by the Grim Reaper. The Grim Reaper in grinning at Life like he is waiting.

I chose this piece because Klimt’s patterns grabbed my eye and I thought that exploring the meanings of this painting could be interesting.



In an article I read while research the piece, the author talked about how Life was comprised of mostly women. They thought that this was because women are the people who bring life to the world. So there was the idea of fertility and life. When I read about fertility being represented in the painting, I thought of the Venus of Willendorf because it’s pretty symbolic of fertility in art.


I drew a skull to represent death and decay–part of life.


For this piece, I drew the objects that represent death coming. The first two are classic representations of death–the scythe and the hourglass. The third is a club which you can see in Klimt’s representation of death in “Death and Life”.


In this piece I drew flowers to represent life and the hand to represent death (the touch of death). I thought of flowers originally because Klimt’s patterns and colors remind me of flowers, also, they’re life without being human. I chose not to color in the hand because it’s death and death should not have color. Death is invisible.


I divided the paper alike to how Klimt divided the sides of Life and Death, then used his patterns and chose a similar color palette.

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