[Milton-L] Milton-L Digest, Vol 72, Issue 6

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Sun Nov 18 10:37:02 EST 2012


Klimt was Austrian... particularly, Viennese.  The Eve painting was among
his very last, as he died before he could finish it.  He doesn't do
Biblical subjects very often at all -- there's Judith and the Head of
Holofernes, this one, and Judith II that seem to be explicitly about
Biblical subjects.  The Klimt website seems more inclined to attribute
influence to his models themselves; it could be this subject was called Eve
only because of her wide hips (mother of all the living) and long, flowing
hair.  He had been attacked for "pornography" by critics in his own country
-- retreating Nazis destroyed his three faculty paintings over 20 years
after his death -- so it could be he chose to identify this subject with
Eve to divert some of this criticism.

It'd be difficult to make a serious argument for Miltonic influence, I
think, and once we start talking about general influence we leave ourselves
open to the possibility of the general influence of many different artists
and authors, especially for figures like Adam and Eve.  But it's an
interesting rabbit to chase...

Jim R

On Sat, Nov 17, 2012 at 12:11 PM, Aaron Drucker <penandpaper at me.com> wrote:

> I'm a tremendous fan of speculation.  (It's kind of what keeps many of us
> that are employed in continued employment.)  And I've always been on the
> fence about Milton's influence on the tradition *in toto*.  Certainly it
> appears he codified a lot of (particularly Protestant) tradition of the
> Garden story, but material art (and, incidentally, the religious traditions
> from which Milton derived his interpretation of the story) reflects these
> themes for centuries before and (without significant alteration in the
> artistic tradition) after Milton's masterpiece.
>
> I guess my real question comes down to which mode and particularly anxious
> influence Klimt (and similar artists) derive their may depictions of Adam,
> Eve, "the Snake," &c.  Is it the late-medieval artistic tradition and the
> Protestant milieu, or is it something more specific (like a great love of
> Milton's poetry)?  I'm always hesitant to make claims when there is a
> strong competing tradition within an artist's own wheelhouse.  To me, this
> is a great excuse to start reading Klimt's letters, diaries, notes, &c.
>  Great fun!  And a grant to study in (where is Klimt from again?  who has
> his papers? -- wherever that is!).
>
> Smiles,
> AD
>
>
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