The Daily Routine

Gustav Klimt, 1900

You would like to know a kind of timetable—the daily routine—well this is very simple and fairly regular. In the early morning I get up, usually at 6’o clock—sometimes a little earlier, sometimes a little later. If the weather is good I go into the nearby wood—there I am painting a small beech forest (in the sun) with a few conifers mixed in. This takes until 8’o clock. Then I have breakfast and after that a swim in the lake, taken with all due caution. Then I paint again for a while: if the sun is shining a picture of the lake, if it’s overcast then a landscape from the window of my room. Sometimes I miss out the morning’s painting session and instead study my Japanese books in the open. Then it’s midday. After lunch I have a short nap or read until afternoon tea. Before or after tea I go for a second swim in the lake—not always but usually. After tea it’s back to painting—a large poplar at dusk with a gathering storm. From time to time instead of this evening painting session I go bowling in one of the neighbouring villages, but not very often. Dusk falls—supper—then early to bed and early to rise the next morning. Occasionally this daily routine is interspersed with a bit of rowing to give my muscles a bit of a shake. In this way, day after day, two weeks have passed by and the lesser half of the holiday is over. One is then pleased to return to Vienna. [...] The weather is very changeable here—not at all hot and often interspersed with rain. I am prepared for all eventualities with my work which is indeed very agreeable.


On my first days here I did not start work immediately but, as planned, I took it easy for a few days—flicked through books, studied Japanese art a little. In the early morning, during the day and in the evening I looked for motifs to paint in my landscapes with my ‘viewfinder', which is a hole cut into a piece of cardboard, and found much or—if you will—nothing.
Today I want to start working again in earnest—I'm looking forward to it because doing nothing does become rather boring after a while. Although even when I am being idle I have plenty of food for thought both early and late—thoughts both about and not about art. True relaxation, which would do me the world of good, does not exist for me.

— Gustav Klimt from Attersee to his lover Marie (Mizzi) Zimmermann
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Gustav Klimt

Love of country and love of women

1862 – 1918

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