Montblanc launches Masters of Art ‘Homage to Gustav Klimt’ collection

By Alvin Wong 6 July, 2024

Montblanc pays homage to Gustav Klimt, an early champion of the art noveau and avant-garde movement, with its Masters of Art Homage writing instruments

“All art,” declared Gustav Klimt, “is erotic.” And it is easy to appreciate the Austrian painter’s sentiment when looking at The Kiss, arguably Klimt’s most famous artwork.

A heady creation depicting love and lust with swathes of gold, flowers, geometric shapes, and, of course, a couple sharing an intimate moment, The Kiss is a monumental artwork by one of the greatest decorative painters of the 20th century. It is safe to say that the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere museum in the Viennese Belvedere Palace who view the painting would be gripped by a sense of awe and desire.

And this year, Montblanc again puts itself up for the challenge of reimagining the greatest artworks of all time with its Masters of Art Homage to Gustav Klimt collection. Introduced in 2022 with the Masters of Art Homage to Vincent van Gogh collection, the series of exclusive writing instruments returns with artful interpretations of Klimt’s most renowned creations, including The Kiss.

Masters of Art Homage to Gustav Klimt Limited Edition 4810, limited to 4,810 pieces as a reference to the height of the Mont Blanc. Photo by Montblanc

A proponent of freedom of expression long before the term became popular, Klimt was a co-founder of the Vienna Secession movement during the late 1800s. The group brought together unconventional artists of all disciplines with the aim of broadening their artistic horizons. It was against this backdrop that Klimt created his most renowned works—and one that Montblanc would channel as inspiration for the Masters of Art Homage to Gustav Klimt collection.

Just as the artist was known for his personal, eclectic and often fantastical style, the writing instruments made in his name exude individuality and uncompromising creativity.

Comprising five limited-edition sets—capped at 4,810, 888, 161, 97 and eight pieces each—the Masters of Art Homage to Gustav Klimt collection bears design features that pay homage to his best-known works.

The shape of the writing instruments, for instance, references the Vienna Secession movement with ringed indentations symbolising the cuts in the Secession architecture, the cone recalling the dome of the Vienna Secession building, and green inlays that echo the colour of the group’s magazine Ver Sacrum. Elsewhere, the pen clips’ design is a nod to the metal frame that houses Klimt’s Pallas Athene painting, while the letters ‘GK’ on the barrels are a replica of his monogram published in the XIV catalogue for the Vienna Secession in 1902.

The blue colour of the Masters of Art Homage Gustav Klimt 4810 evokes Kilmer’s portrait from 1902 of his muse Emilie Flöge. Photo by Montblanc

Each meticulously designed limited edition brims with personality, with the ornamentation and The Kiss’s geometric style manifested on the translucent dark-blue lacquer barrel of the Masters of Art Homage to Gustav Klimt 4810. Design highlights from the famous three-sided painting Beethoven Frieze are found on the relief gold overlays and platinum-coated cap of the Masters of Art Homage to Gustav Klimt 888.

Masters of Art Homage to Gustav Klimt Limited Edition 888 commemorates Klimt’s active commitment to the Vienna Secession. Photo by Montblanc

The Masters of Art Homage to Gustav Klimt 161 is sheathed in seductive red-and-gold lacquer—created using a traditional Japanese lacquering technique that evokes Klimt’s love for East Asian art—and the Masters of Art Homage to Gustav Klimt 97, gleaming in solid gold with lacquer and stone inlays, pays homage to his Golden Phase that birthed the aforementioned artworks.

Masters of Art Homage to Gustav Klimt 161 is based on his famous work The Kiss. Photo by Montblanc

The collection’s piece de resistance, though, is the Masters of Art Homage to Gustav Klimt 8. A sublime work of art that amalgamates goldsmithing, gem-setting and engraving techniques, the writing instrument bubbles with homages to Klimt’s lifework.

A white marble underlay covers the cap and barrel, which are in turn encased in elaborately engraved yellow gold chassis. The sculptural overlay gleams with radiance, set with mother-of-pearl, black onyx and jade inlays, and decorated with motifs hewn from Stoclet Frieze, a series of three mosaics by Klimt that depict the tree of life, flanked by a female figure and an embracing couple.

A black Horus falcon from the artwork makes an appearance on the yellow gold cap, hand-engraved in black onyx and adorned with a red ruby. Festooned with tsavorites, amethysts and citrines against a mosaic-like gold pattern at one end, and crowned with a diamond-set Montblanc logo on the cap, the eight-piece edition is unabashedly lavish—and a fitting tribute for an artist who never shied away from ostentation, leaning instead into extravagant colours and forms in his creations.