Gustav Klimt - Apple Tree I 1912

Gustav Klimt - Apple Tree I 1912

Gustav Klimt - Apple Tree I 1912
109x110cm oil/canvas
Sold for: USD 30.05 million
Auction house: Christie's, New York
Sale date: 8 November 2006
Seller: Heirs of Adele and Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer
Buyer: Anonymous buyer

From Christie's, New York:
Bursting with color, with the bold red of the apples and the colors of the flowers that carpet the ground below the tree, Apple Tree I is filled with happiness, with life, with fertility, with the bounties of nature. The rich colors and the intricately-worked oils lend the painting a sense of shimmering movement rare in Klimt's landscapes. Painted circa 1912, this picture focuses on a single tree which dominates the entire canvas. Only the vaguest hint of the sky peeks through in an upper corner, along with the foliage of some other background trees. Likewise, the bottom of the canvas, packed with colorful bloom facing the viewer and seemingly jostling for our attention, takes up a small amount of the canvas--the strip of flowers and of grass only serves to accentuate the extent to which the apple tree of the title fills the vast majority of the canvas, exploding from it in a firework-like display of luscious color and bold, frantic brushstrokes that echoes the increasing ornamentation that had come to feature in his portraits from the same period. Klimt's own satisfaction with Apple Tree I is reflected in its early exhibition history including its presence in the 1912 Gro├če Kunstausstellung in Dresden.