Gustav Klimt’s 1907 publication of his illustrated edition of Lucian’s ancient work Dialogues of the Courtesans was the first time he exhibited his erotic art to the public, and it led to his denouncement by censors disturbed by the work’s graphic content. This volume revives Klimt’s masterful book, which pairs his erotic drawings with Wiener Werkstätte design, and which arguably resulted in the Art Nouveau era’s most beautiful book. Klimt and Antiquity also compares the red- and blackfigure Attic vases dating from the 5th century with Klimt’s art. It presents Klimt’s antiquity-inspired art as a dialogue between contemporary and ancient art, between genders, and between women’s roles in times of antiquity and modernity. Essays explore Klimt’s interest in ancient art; the ancient role of the courtesan; and the phenomenon of the Greek symposium as fertile ground for Greek art.
STELLA ROLLIG is General Director and Scientific Director of the Belvedere Museum in Vienna. TOBIAS G. NATTER is an art historian, curator, and expert on Viennese art of the early 20th century. He has held leading curatorial positions at the Belvedere Museum in Vienna, Tate Liverpool, the Neue Galerie New York, the Hamburger Kunsthalle, the Schirn in Frankfurt am Main, and the Jewish Museum in Vienna.