16 April, 2024


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Gustav Klimt – “Academic Study of a Hungarian Blacksmith” – Austria – 1880

Gustav Klimt, the master of Symbolism; brings us one of his earlier works done in the 1880s during the last days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A male academic nude of a famous and very handsome, and well known blacksmith from Hungary, also known by locals of Vienna as “The Handsome Hungarian.” Women would take their horses to get new shoes for their stallions. He was approached by Gustav Klimt at the cities many “fitness studios,” for men only. In those days, gyms were segregated by sexes and there weren’t many workout centers for women, that weren’t really just a spa. Gyms were for the police, boxers, firemen, artists, and the military.

Many of these were a combination of public bathhouse, gym, and wresting studio. Wrestling and boxing were quite popular at this time. The model was also known to swim at the same summer resort that Gustav Klimt and his long-time, female lover and famous fashion designer, Emilie Louise Flöge.

Many of his male academic works are being rediscovered after many were either lost or destroyed during WW2 by the evils of Nazism and their hateful regime, when it took over Austria. Klimt is famously known for his beautiful and colorful symbolist pieces, like The Kiss.