There can be no doubt about Klimt's greatness as a draughtsman. Remarkable above all is the intensely sensual mood that he establishes in his limpid, fluid drawings and watercolours. Rainer Metzger brings together hundreds of Klimt's works on paper in a way that enriches our knowledge of the artist and enhances the visual impact of his oeuvre. Many revolve around Klimt's taboo-breaking main themes - the naked woman, erotica and homoerotica - while others provide allegorical and historical insights. Between these two poles lie Klimt's elegantly direct preparatory sketches and studies, tirelessly and manically executed - frameworks that would lay the foundations for his paintings. This book is a fitting testament to a hitherto neglected aspect of Klimt's art, which is as complex and contradictory as the times in which it was made and as the man who made it.
Rainer Metzger is an art historian and author who has been a professor at the Kunstakademie Karlsruhe since 2004. His books include Gustav Klimt: Drawings and Watercolours (2005), Berlin in the 20s (2007) and Munich: Its Golden Age of Art and Culture 1890-1920 (2009), all published by Thames & Hudson.