The Latest Target of Climate Activists is the 107-year-old Painting by Gustav Klimt

Protest in Leopold Museum! In Austria, two climate activists threw black liquid at the 107-year-old painting by Gustav Klimt in protest.

The incident took place at the Leopold Museum, an art museum in Vienna, on Tuesday, November 15, 2022. Two climate activists threw a black, oily liquid at Austrian painter Gustav Klimt’s painting Tod und Leben (Death and Life), which he completed in 1915. Immediately after the incident, one of the activists was quickly removed from the painting by the security guard at the museum. Meanwhile, the other activist stuck his hand on the protective glass on the painting with glue.

The black liquid covering almost the entire painting did not cause any damage to the original painting thanks to the protective glass. But, according to the statement made by the restoration team of the museum, evident damages occurred on the protective glass, wall and floor.

After the action, the Austrian police came to the museum in a short time and the cleaning works were started. Activists continued to defend their protest against oil and gas drilling.

An activist group called Letzter Generation (Last Generation) claimed responsibility for the action. The same group also claimed responsibility for a similar protest in Germany about three weeks ago. Two activists had thrown mashed potatoes at a 131-year-old painting by Claude Monet at the Museum Barberini in Potsdam.

Activists Throw Mashed Potatoes at Claude Monet’s 130-Year-Old Painting

According to the statement made by the Austrian Press Agency (APA), the activists managed to get the black liquid representing oil into the museum by hiding it in a hot water bag.

Museum director Hans-Peter Wipplinger said the activists were right in their concerns, but the choice of action was wrong.

About Tod und Leben (Death and Life)

Tod und Leben is the name of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt’s work completed in 1915. The painting, made with oil paint on canvas, is 178×198 cm in size. The painting has been exhibited many times in European capitals and in the USA.

It was 1908 when Gustav Klimt first started painting Tod und Leben. However, Klimt later made some changes on the painting and the painting took its final form in 1915.

Who is Gustav Klimt?

Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt was born in 1862 in Baumgarten, which was part of the Austrian Empire. He was influenced by Art Nouveau and symbolism. Some of his paintings were destroyed during the Second World War. Gustav Klimt, who also showed his talent in architectural decorations, used real gold in some of his works.

Gustav Klimt died of pneumonia on February 6, 1918, during the Spanish Flu Pandemic.