Gustav Klimt: “Fulfillment (Stoclet Frieze)”

The 2023 Art Calendar Reveal

On January 1st of every year, we have the Art Calendar Reveal.   It has been a tradition in our home for over 14 years, ever since I first discovered the page-a-day Art Gallery Calendar.

This year, Gustav Klimt’s painting “Fulfillment” (Stoclet Frieze) completed between 1905 -1909 graced January 1, 2023.   

As I viewed the painting, words like belonging and welcome came to mind.  What a perfect way to begin the year that promised a new artwork “reveal” with every page that was turned.

The Embrace (Stoclet Frieze) Gustav Klimt, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

But there is more to the story of “Fulfillment” beyond this painting as I soon discovered when I looked for the backstory.

This painting, entitled “The Embrace” is part of a series of three mosaics created by the Gustav Klimt for a commission from the Stoclet Palace in Brussels. The three mosaics – “The Expectation”, “Knight” and “The Embrace” were originally displayed on three separate walls, with the Knight mosaic positioned centrally and the larger mosaics, each centering on a Tree of Life motif, positioned on walls to the left and right.

Tree of Life detail from the Stoclet Frieze Gustav Klimt, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
The Expectation by Gustav Klimt, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The mosaics form a part of a larger commission by the Belgian financier Adolphe Stoclet and his wife Suzanne, which was completed in 1911. “Fulfillment” was for the internal walls of the dining room in the Palais Stoclet, Brussels.

The concept of the tree of life is illustrated in “Fulfillment” in a bold and original manner, with the swirling branches creating mythical symbolism. It also suggests the perpetuity of life, with the branches reaching for the sky and the roots connecting to the underworld. The painting also symbolizes the union between man’s greatest virtues: strength, wisdom, and beauty.

“Fulfillment” is considered one of Gustav Klimt’s most recognizable works.

Knight by Gustav Klimt, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

I can paint and draw. I believe this myself and a few other people say that they believe this too. But I’m not certain of whether it’s true ”

Gustav Klimt

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

23 thoughts on “Gustav Klimt: “Fulfillment (Stoclet Frieze)”

  1. He is amazingly unique. His work is ultimately recognizable, and breaks many rules. I just love that!
    Happy 2023 art calendar viewing. I can hardly wait to see what ends up here!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am delighted that you will be joining me on “Art Calendar Adventures”, Resa. Have you ever heard of Alexej von Jawlensky? I have just come across that name for the first time in my art calendar. He was a Russian expressionist painter active in Germany and was a member of the Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) I had heard about The Blue Rider group of painters but I had never heard of Alexej. His friends included Wassily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse and Emil Nolde. I continue to learn.

      This is his self-portrait:


  2. Thank you for posting this, I went to my treasured calendar to find the exact day. Thank you for this gift that I treasure every day. Thank you for the background history and interesting added information. I really always learn from each day. By the way, the history calendar that you also gave me, is spectacular! !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted that you enjoy the Art Calendar with me. Isn’t it fun to turn the page. Today was Cornelius de Vries (16th Century) “Francis Drake Sailed His Ship Golden Hind into History. I have never heard of Cornelius de Vries and will not be looking at this back story. Always an adventure!!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. His work is so distinctive and merges many traditions. It has the same effect on me as works by Kandinsky; you can look at it for hours and find something new each time. You tease here with so many rabbit holes, I can’t keep up with your energy and zest for all things creative, Rebecca! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find that I run to keep up with your ideas, Mary Jo. The Art Calendar has been an invaluable tool to focus my thoughts on creative endeavours before I start my day. It feels like I’m talking to the artist and sense the barriers of time and space fade away the more I look at an art piece. I share your thought on the work of Kandinsky. I remember reading somewhere that he said “Colour is the power which directly influences the soul….” I am still pondering that thought.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So interesting! Thank you for posting Rebecca. Had this print framed for years. Loved seeing the Klimts in Vienna. Did you read a few years ago about the California woman who sued Austria and and received five Klimts stolen by the Naziis from her family? They were on exhibite for years. I believe this included The Lady in Gold who was a relative of the original family. Austria claimed they were part of their national heritage. Museums hold far too much stolen art and artifacts. They need to give it back.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That was a remarkable story, Cindy and a reminder that art has a darker side to collecting. I read the book: The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer” by Anne-Marie O’Connor. It was a page tuner. Just this past August I read that Cambodia is seeking return of art from the Met.

      Thank you so much for your comment – very much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Colleen. Calendars have a way of reminding me that “today” is special – that I should celebrate the moments. I also have a “cat” trivia calendar. Today on January 7, this is the message to upon which to reflect: “Napoleon Bonaparte, the French military leader and emperor, is remembered today for his courage on the battlefield, but he was afraid of cats!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ich teile Ihre Freude an den Kunstwerken von Gustav Klimt. Es gibt so viel über Kunst während der Wiener Erbfolge zu lernen und zu entdecken. Frohes neues Jahr!! Ich freue mich auf die Erkundung der Kunst im Jahr 2023.

      Liked by 1 person

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