Unfinished, Gustav Klimt

 I keep thinking about this Gustav Klimt painting that is in the Unfinished show at Met Breuer. Posthumous Portrait of Maria Munk III, 1917-18, was commissioned by the subject's parents, after she committed suicide. 

This was Klimt's third effort, as the first two portraits did not meet the family's approval. Klimt himself died before the portrait was complete.

Until now, Klimt wasn't a favorite of mine. I admired his work, but it always seemed a little sterile, lacking in soul. Maybe because in reproductions it can come off as decorative. In person you see the hand at work, feel the life.

The sad story behind this painting makes it of interest, but the unfinished part brings it to life for me. I'm certain that I like it more this way, than if it had been completed. I wonder what the first two, that the family rejected, looked like.