Flower Garden, 1906 by Gustav Klimt

This close-up of a flower garden with its tight perspective and emphasis on the painted surface is an outpouring of Klimt's love of patterning and design. The riot of colors recalls backgrounds from some of his monumental frieze work, such as The Beethoven Frieze (1902), thrown down here in exaggerated profusion. The pyramidal structure gives form and shape to the intensity of patterning, which, like other of Klimt's landscape works, plays on the polarizing effects of a predominant oppositional red-green palette. However, Klimt places the odd note of blue at the heart of this composition to act as a focal point within the color confusion.

In early letters to his mistress, Mizzi, Klimt outlined how his holidays with Emilie were a whirl of constant activity. An energetic sportsman, he wrote of a punishing daily routine: of early rising, painting, breakfast, swimming in the lake, painting, lunch, nap, swimming, or rowing, and then more painting after tea. He revealingly wrote, "doing nothing gets boring after a bit." It is clear that he was an utterly driven man. Obsessed by his beloved work, he took no true holidays - every day was an artistic journey of discovery. Away from the confines of the city, this powerfully built man enjoyed "shaking up the muscles" with a rigorous program of physical exercise