Gustav Klimt, Pallas Athene


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The Athena of myth is a paradox, an external contradiction but internally consistent: a goddess with what some women, Pomeroy and Cantarella, for example, consider masculine powers. The Athena of a state religion or state cult is another persona and not the subject of this study. In mythology Athena poses a curious androgynous power. Is she externally female but internally male or is it that her myth persona is ambiguous? To us, wisdom and war may seem strange mindmates of this patron goddess, impossible alloys. Here it may be merely a cross-cultural and diachronic dilemma, but Athena's compound persona is nonetheless fascinating.

Gustav Klimt's use of Classical myth iconography is directly derivative of antiquity in his many images of Athena. Perhaps the outstanding image of this goddess since Classical antiquity, however, is his Pallas Athene of 1898. She is a very different persona from his famous femmes fatales whose sexuality is overwhelming, for example his Judith and the Head of Holofernes (1901) and Danae (1907-8). Here it is Athena's divinity which Klimt finds more interesting, rather than her sexuality, which is not surprising given the gender ambiguities she demonstrated in Greek antiquity. Perhaps Klimt implies that power is a catalyst to sexual instincts, as history has long suggested that power is one of the most important sexual stimuli in human behavior and that the desire for power is strongly connected to sexual desire. In any case, this somewhat asexual Greek goddess becomes Klimt's most powerful female in his art.

Available as a fine art print and as a stretched canvas panel (heavy fine art canvas stretched over 1.5 inch deep edge solid wood frame)

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All prints are made using archival art stocks and UV pigment inks to give up to 200 years life. Prints are sold unframed and unmounted.



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Size and Printed Materials

Fine art papers are printed without any additional white border Please let us know at the time of ordering if you would like a small additional white border.

Rolled canvas options have an additional white border of approximately 2.5 inches (7cm) on all 4 sides to aid stretching.

Ready to hang canvas panels are stretched on 1.5 inch deep solid pine frames from sustainable forestry sources. The image is mirrored on all 4 sides to give an aesthetically pleasing finish.

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We have a wide range of frames in standard sizes and we also make custom size frames.

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1. select the print size you would like along with the print materials (matte paper, fine art paper).

2. Add your print choice to the basket.

3. Choose from our range of frames

4. Select the same size as the print you have added to your basket. If the frame size you want is not listed please contact us

5. Choose from the mount or no-mount option

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7. Proceed to checkout.

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