Wasserschlangen II (1904-1907)
At the beginning of the 20th century, after abandoning the Secession movement and retiring to live on the outskirts of Vienna, Klimt began a period of greater creative freedom, in which he produced some of his most famous and recognized works and increased his degree of eroticism.
At the end of the 19th century there had been a transversal movement to recognize or enhance the value of the female figure, represented by artists as diverse as Courbet or Toulouse-Lautrec. This marked trend took on a new dimension with the creations of the beginning of the century by Gustav Klimt, who endowed the women protagonists of his paintings with a freedom, eroticism and sensuality practically unknown until then, within his modernist-symbolist style.
Klimt painted a first version of Water Serpents in 1904, and took up the idea again in 1907. Moving away from the golden ornament of previous works, he added floral and aquatic elements to mark one of his most symbolic works. The female protagonists swim in the current like sensual snakes, referring to elements considered sexual by Freudian psychology. It is a dreamlike and transgressive work with classical compositional perspectives.
The beauty of the captured scene has the mission of captivating the viewer. The colored mosaics and capers in the background, the golden ornaments, the waves that fade as if they were foaming water, and the floral decorations contribute to creating that dreamlike aura so present in much of Klimt's work.
Despite being an aesthetic tribute, there is a certain ethical foundation in it: from the point of view of sexuality. Klimt reflected in his works a latent but evident sensuality and lesbianism, very controversial at his time. Today should be a won fight, but it is not. With every gesture and act we fight to normalize sexual freedom and gain some ground for tolerance.
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