The Three Ages of Woman
– by Gustav Klimt
Time and change are interdependent. This painting by Gustav Klimt depicts the passage of time through age. This is portrayed by him trough the three main stages of a woman’s life .i.e. infancy, youth and old age. It is also an expression of time’s inevitable process of deterioration. This is visible through Klimt’s depiction of the infant, the young mother and the old lady. The child is cradled in the mother’s arms with a peaceful and content expression on both their faces while the old lady stands to the side, alone as she covers her face with her hair and her hand. It is almost like the old lady has lost everything, including her will to live. To me, this painting also feels like an expression of the phrase ‘the exterior decays while the interior blooms’. The interior .i.e. the thoughts in these women’s minds has been shown by the play in the background. The pattern around the young woman’s head has bigger and lesser shapes as compared to the background around the old lady. Also, the background turns monochrome around the old woman, which, according to me represents that the woman has higher knowledge and clarity in thought.