Starting September 15, the Peles Castle of Sinaia hosts an event-exhibition described on posters as “the exhibition of the year”: “Gustav Klimt and the Kunstlerkompagnie”. The exhibition marks 150 years since the birth of the Austrian painter.
The Peles Castle is the most important repository in Romania of paintings made by Gustav Klimt in the Kunstler-Compagnie workshop. The paintings on display were made between 1883 and 1886, following orders placed by King Carol I, by Viennese painters Gustav Klimt, Ernst Klimt and Franz Matsch. Kunstler-Compagnie was a painting workshop active between 1879-1892, which covered orders of decorating private and public buildings in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and abroad. Five years after it was founded, in 1883, the three artists receive the first big order, consisting in the illustration of three theme programmes, destined to decorating the Sinaia residence of the Romanian King. Starting 1886, the company will be hired for large-scale decoration projects, Hermesvilla (property of Empress Elisabeth of Habsburg) and monumental edifices on Ringstrasse, Burgtheater, Kunsthistorisches Museum etc.With the works belonging to the entire workshop, the role of each of the Klimt brothers is unclear. According to Gerbert Giese, Ernst seems to have played a subordinate role, at least in the beginning, in relation to his colleagues, because of his age. Gustav Klimt and Franz Matsch conceived each a draft of the work ordered to the company. The dossiers containing sketches and watercolors were submitted to the analysis and choice of the client, which either chose one of them, or ordered an intermediary version, combining elements of both versions. This is supposedly what happened with the paintings ordered by the Romanian king, so it would be interesting to identify the preparatory sketches for the Peles decoration.The works painted by the Austrian artists for Peles may be grouped into three distinct categories: the Ancestors’ Gallery of the Peles Castle, the ancestors of the king, which belonged to the House of Hohenzollern; the copies of paintings by famous masters, and original works on display in the Theatre Hall and on the ceiling of the Grand Staircase. All these are open to the public starting last Saturday, in the exhibition halls of the Peles Castle.The promotion campaign of the exhibition also includes a catalogue with more than 25 original works, a biography and an in-depth analysis of Gustav Klimt’s contribution to the decoration of the Peles Castle. The catalogue is available, since last Sunday, in the gift shop located within the inner yard of the castle. Several reproductions of Klimt paintings are also available in the same shop, since September 1st.The exhibition will remain open until December 15 and can be visited Wednesdays (11-17) and Thursdays to Sundays (9:15-17). Tickets cost RON 6 for adults, RON 3 for pensioners and RON 1.5 for schoolchildren and students.
Further information can be found at www.peles.ro.