Seated Lady with Hat
Gustav Klimt
Graphite and blue pencil on paper
Printed area size: 56 × 37 cm
Measures with a framework: 94 × 67 × 4 cm
ca. 1910
Stamp in the lower left corner: "Gustav / Klimt / Nachlass"
Born: Viena, 1862
Died: Viena, 1918

The biblical story of Judith inspired one of the most important works by Gustav Klimt: Judith I, an oil painting from 1901 that is preserved at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere in Vienna. Judith is leaning on an embossed copper ledge surrounded by gold leaf details. In her hands she is holding the head of the Assyrian general Holopherne. But the head of her victim is completely secondary; all her strength is concentrated on her face and her hand, while her exposed chest confers the figure a stirring sensuality.

Produced nearly ten years later, the drawing Seated Lady with Hat shares a few elements with said iconic work. In this instance the subject is no longer a heroine or the savior of the Israeli people. The protagonist is merely a woman in an undefined space who is wearing a busy dress which seems to be rooted in a profoundly masculine fantasy.

The proud gesture of her head—slightly tilted backward—and her expression of concealed satisfaction connect both women; confident in themselves and unaware of any social conventions. In both cases their red lips are one of the sensual focal points, along with their extremely arched eyebrows which highlight a gaze that is lost in dreams of pleasure.

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