Mäda Primavesi, 1912
Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862–1918)

What a fine St. Agnes this determined and solemn little girl might have made! The Viennese sezessionist Gustave Klimt's work is unabashedly secular in its outlook, and of its age, but its dizzying melange of realism and stylization, flowing from the solidity of her stern face into the curling brustrokes of backdrop, makes it a visual feast for the artist--especially one like me, equally intrigued by the geometry of Byzantium and the ecstatic energy of Rome.

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