Beethoven Frieze

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Beethoven Frieze
Gustav Klimt - Beethovenfries, "Die Sehnsucht nach dem Glück" (nach Richard Wagners Interpretation der IX. Sinfonie von Ludwig van Beethoven) - 5987 - Österreichische Galerie Belvedere.jpg
ArtistGustav Klimt
MediumCharcoal, graphite, black, red and coloured chalk, pastel, casein colours, gold, silver, gilt stucco, applications (mother-of-pearl buttons, brass uniform buttons, mirror fragments, ground glass, brass curtain rings, upholstering nails, semi-precious stones) on mortar render over reed matting[2]
LocationSecession Building, Vienna, Austria

The Beethoven Frieze is a painting by Gustav Klimt on display in the Secession Building, Vienna, Austria.


In 1901, Klimt painted the Beethoven Frieze for the 14th Vienna Secessionist exhibition in celebration of the composer, and featured a monumental polychrome sculpture by Max Klinger. Meant for the exhibition only, the frieze was painted directly on the walls with light materials. After the exhibition the painting was preserved, although it did not go on display again until 1986.[3] The Beethoven Frieze is on permanent display in the Vienna Secession Building in a specially built, climate-controlled basement room.[4]

The frieze is large, standing at 7 feet high with a width of 112 feet. The entire work weighs four tons.[5]

Depiction on coin[edit]

Secession Coin, featuring a portion of the frieze

Because of the frieze's fame and popularity, it was made the main motif of a collectors' coin: the Austrian 100 euro Secession Coin, minted on November 10, 2004. The reverse side features a small portion of the frieze. The extract from the painting features three figures: a knight in armor representing "Armored Strength", one woman in the background symbolizing "Ambition" holding up a wreath of victory and a second woman representing "Sympathy" with lowered head and clasped hands.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tobias G. Natter, Benedikt Taschen (2017). Gustav Klimt - The Complete Paintings. Taschen. p. 524. ISBN 978-3-8365-6661-2.
  2. ^ Tobias G. Natter, Benedikt Taschen (2017). Gustav Klimt - The Complete Paintings. Taschen. p. 524. ISBN 978-3-8365-6661-2.
  3. ^ "Beethoven Frieze". Archived from the original on May 15, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  4. ^ "The Beethoven Frieze". Vienna Secession. Archived from the original on December 24, 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  5. ^ Cohen, Patricia (October 15, 2013). "Heirs Press Austria to Return Looted Klimt Frieze". The New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
  6. ^ "History of Art:Gustav Klimt". Retrieved 13 January 2020.

External links[edit]