The Maiden, also known as "The Virgin", is a symbolic piece by Gustav Klimt that depicts a young woman while she is dreaming. She is seen to be imagining the unfolding of different versions of herself. Its Art Nouveau style is easily recognizable with its asymmetrical shapes, flowing lines, and floral design. Klimt's portrayal of the female form represents the sensual and often erotic nature of the feminine spirit and its ability to change and expand, much like nature and the universe itself.
Recurring themes of sensuality, regeneration, eroticism, and fertility can be seen in much of Klimt's work. Nowadays, he is acclaimed for the emancipation of women. However, during his lifetime much of his work was received by many as distasteful and provocative as it did not adhere to the conservative opinions of society in the late 1800s.
The Maiden was one of the final pieces completed by Klimt before his death in 1918.
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