Monday, March 16, 2015

Blessing #74 for 2015: Gustav Klimt

I just saw a trailer for Woman in Gold, coming out April 1, which reminded me [happily] of my trip to Eastern Europe I took with GEEO (a non profit that offers travel programs for educators) 2 summers ago.  The movie has to do with a painting by Gustav Klimt, perhaps my favorite artist ever.

My favorite part of Vienna on that Eastern Europe trip was all the palaces.  Oh. My. Gosh.  Lots and lots and lots of shiny, beautiful things.  Oh, and the music!  And the theatres!

Ahem.  I digress.

One place, the Belvedere Palace and Museum, has a fantastic collection of Klimt pieces, including the one I had seen before, The Kiss.

 Let me just say that no picture does this piece justice.  I broke into tears when I saw this painting live.  The gold sparkles.  And the size!  I Googled it and it's really on about a 4.5 foot square, but in my memory it's humongous!  (Perhaps the shininess of the gold makes it seem bigger.)

It gets better!  At the other end of the room is this painting:
According to the Belvedere website, it is called Beethoven Frieze: "The Arts", "Paradise Choir" and "The Embracement".   This picture is awful, but the original is amazing.  It is also huge (at least, in my memory).

To stand in front of works of art like this was a moving experience.  How fortunate I am to have been able to go to Vienna, but how wonderful for any of us when we take advantage of the opportunities that are right in front of us.  I ran around Vienna for two days trying to see as much as I could, because who knows if I will ever get to go back!

I know that some people have a different take on vacations and maybe on sightseeing, but my philiosophy is, why not go see it if I'm here?  I exhausted myself on the trip in Vienna and Prague, listening to music every night in century-old theaters, visiting palaces, churches and amusement parks and climbing every bell tower I found.  At the Prague castle I stumbled upon a spectacular show of Marilyn Monroe's dresses, shoes and notes peppered with works of art.

The box for the awesome cupcake.  I forgot to take a picture before I ate it.
I never know what I'm going to discover when I show up for what is right in front of me.  In Vienna I also visited Freud's house and on the way back to downtown I found a cupcake shop with the most delicious cupcake I've ever had!  I discovered the choir picture just by wanting to see The Kiss in person. 

At home, it's harder to remember this for some reason, though it's just as true in Boise as in Vienna or Prague or Ireland.  When I just show up [even reluctantly], whether it's going to the grocery store, grading papers, making dinner or a phone call, I give the universe an opportunity to fill my life with something wonderful.

P.S.  You can take a virtual tour of the Klimt gallery at the Belvedere Palace and Museum here (click on the Klimt room).

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