Measures: 70 x 70 cm
Technique: Oil on canvas
Depository: Destroyed by a fire set by retreating German forces in 1945 at Schloss Immendorf, Austria.
Gustav Klimt and the Flöges liked to spend a spring holiday in Bad Gastein, a spa in the Austrian Alps. Klimt chose the view of the town with its huge belle époque hotels. The ten story high Grand Hotel Europe was one of the largest and most modern in the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. Linearism, prominent in his late work is at a climax in this landscape.
Bad Gastein is a spa town in the Austrian state of Salzburg (state)|Salzburg, situated at the northern rim of the Hohe Tauern national park. It has 5,838 inhabitants. The name "Bad" means "spa", reflecting the town's history as a health resort. It is located at the head of the Gastein valley, about 1,000 metres (3,280 ft.) above sea level. The townscape is characterised by historic multi-storey hotel buildings erected on the steep slopes.
The Gastein valley was first mentioned as Gastuna in a 963 deed, then part of the Duchy of Bavaria, and was purchased by the Archbishopric of Salzburg|Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg in 1297. It was originally a gold mining area and the site of an ancient trade route crossing the main ridge of the Central Eastern Alps. About 1230 the minnesinger Neidhart von Reuental referred to the hot springs in his Middle High German poem Die Graserin in der Gastein, they were visited by Emperor Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor|Frederick III as well as by the Renaissance physician Paracelsus. In the 19th century the waters of Bad Gastein became a fashionable resort, visited by monarchs as well as the rich and famous. Some notable guests of the past included Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sisi) and the German Emperor Wilhelm I, German Emperor|Wilhelm I with his chancellor Otto von Bismarck as well as Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, King Faisal I of Iraq, King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia and Iran's last king Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, industrialists like Wilhelm von Opel and artists like Heinrich Mann, Robert Stolz and W. Somerset Maugham. In 1865 Bismarck had signed the Gastein Convention with Austria concerning the administration of the provinces of Duchy of Schleswig|Schleswig and Holstein after the Second Schleswig War. Mass tourism was pushed by the opening of the Tauern Railway station in 1905. From the 1960s on the resort lost some of its former notoriety and many former hotels sit empty. During the past few years, Bad Gastein renovated its Felsentherme and the Congress Center.
Spa and Therapy
The local Heilstollen (literally 'healing tunnel') Hot spring|thermal spring water earned the town its early fame. Paracelsus|Theophrastus Parcelsus (1493–1541) had studied the Spring (hydrosphere)|spring water to discover its secrets. Marie Curie (1867–1934) and :de:Heinrich Mache|Heinrich Mache (1876–1954) helped to discover that it contained radon and as a result radon therapy began in the town. Radon inhalation therapy at Gasteiner-Heilstollen began as a result of further investigation into the anecdotal experiences of silver miners who noticed improvements in symptoms from various ailments including arthritis. Ankylosing spondylitis (also known as Vladimir Bekhterev|Bekhterev's disease), in particular, has seen positive results from treatment at the Heilstollen. However, there is very little empirical evidence of any benefit to inhaling radon. For example, one of the few studies to test the efficacy of spa treatments for Ankylosing spondylitis found no statistically significant difference between a group that spent three weeks at Bad Gastein and a group that spent three weeks at a different spa without radon inhalation therapy.van Tubergen et al., "Combined spa-exercise therapy is effective in patients with ankylosing spondylitis: a randomized controlled trial." Arthritis Rheum. 2001 Oct;45(5):430-8,
Places of interest
* Nikolauskirche (1380) * Gletschermühlen * Felsentherme * Gasteiner Heilstollen * Gasteiner Heimatmuseum im Haus Austria * Silverbullet (Bar) * Eden's Pub - the only real english pub in the valley