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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


FINN, Bárbara C; BRUETMAN, Julio E  y  YOUNG, Pablo. The portrait of medicine and Gustav Klimt (1862-1918). Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2013, vol.141, n.12, pp.1584-1588. ISSN 0034-9887.

Gustav Klimt was an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most important representatives of the modernist movement of the Viennese Secession. The most notable works carried out at his golden age were the "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I" and "The kiss". In 1901 he paints "Medicine" where he returns to the entanglement of floating bodies -the lifetime- among which appears the skeleton of death; a female figure stands out from the column to represent freedom from pain. The figure of Hygeia or Hygieia, daughter of Aesculapius, who personifies medicine, is shown in the foreground. In 1911, thanks to "The life and death", a picture related to medicine, he was awarded the first prize at the Universal Exhibition of Rome. A number of his artworks were confiscated by the Nazi dictatorship. During the advance of enemy troops, and fearing that these works would become spoils of war, it was decided to burn the castle where they remained confiscated. Therefore, countless artworks were lost. The progressive development of symbolic or abstract motifs already emphasized the freedom of spirit that permeated all the avant-garde of early twentieth century.

Palabras clave : Anatomy; Portraits; History of Medicine.

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