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In 1902, the Vienna Secession hosted a memorial exhibition dedicated to the memory of the great Ludwig van Beethoven. Gustav Klimt saw in the musician a genius, and in his creative activity - the embodiment of love.
Specially for the exhibition in 1902, the artist created the Beethoven Frieze. The audience reacted negatively to the picture: it was called lifeless and harsh, and the figures were considered vile. In particular, this concerned the three gorgons depicted. They lack chastity, purity and restraint, the public said. Such reviews are the reason for the genitals, eggs and sperm on the canvas.
On the composition from the left wall there is a knight who goes to fight with evil forces. Behind him are women who symbolize Victory and Compassion. The composition on the right consists of figures - symbols of Joy and God's Spark. Evil forces are present in the central image. Among them are Typhon, the gorgons, which are a symbol of illness, madness and death. Female figures on the right side symbolize voluptuousness, passion and restraint, and a woman on the side symbolizes longing.
At that time, the public was not yet accustomed to the free use of lines, shapes and ornament. The public did not understand what the frieze symbolizes. She did not understand his ending, which is the personification of the salvation of a man by a woman.
When creating the picture, Klimt did not count on her further exposure after the exhibition. Therefore, the frieze was not available to the public in subsequent years. But from the end of the last century, she again returned to her place in the Vienna Secession.
Ivanov The Appearance of Christ to the People