Gustav Klimt - Hope II 1908

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Hope II 1908

Hope II 1908
110x110cm oil on canvas gold and platinum
Museum of Modern Art, New York, United States

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From The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 54:
A pregnant woman bows her head and closes her eyes, as if praying for the safety of her child. Peeping out from behind her stomach is a death's head, sign of the danger she faces. At her feet, three women with bowed heads raise their hands, presumably also in prayer—although their solemnity might also imply mourning, as if they foresaw the child's fate.
Why, then, the painting's title? Although Klimt himself called this work Vision, he had called an earlier, related painting of a pregnant woman Hope. By association with the earlier work, this one has become known as Hope, II. There is, however, a richness here to balance the women's gravity.