Austrian Mint issues third Klimt gold coin

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March 6, 2014 – On February 19, 2014 the Austrian Mint has issued the third gold coin in its 5-coin series, “Klimt and his Women.”

Austria / 50 euros / 986 gold / 10.14g / 22mm / Design: Helmut Andexlinger, Herbert Wähner / Mintage: 30,000.

The obverse of the coin depicts a portion of an early painting entitled “Nuda Veritas.” The portion of the painting featured on the coin is framed in a box, somewhat similar to the frame of a painting, augmenting the focus on her. Flowing locks of hair frame the woman’s face and cover her torso. She is holding a mirror in her right hand. In this image the scroll ornamentation favoured by Gustav Klimt in his paintings is apparent. The lengthy stems of flowers along the right side of the coin connect the flowing hair with the scrolls in the background. The obverse of the coin was engraved by Mint engraver Herbert Waehner.
The reverse depicts the very striking upper section of the painting simply known as Judith II. The power of her strength can be seen in her eyes and raised chin. The intricate patterns and mosaics so typical of Klimt’s work appear around the upper portion, around her torso. The scrolls, noted here as well and which are found in most of his paintings, are symbolic of the Tree of Life. The letter “i” is seen to her left. The “i” represents the third letter of his last name Klimt, as this is the third coin of the 5 coin series.

Also on this side appears the country of issue, “Republik Oesterreich” or Republic of Austria, the face value of 50 euros. and year of issue, 2014. The reverse of this coin was engraved by Helmut Andexlinger.

Gustav Klimt, Nuda Veritas, 1899. Österreichisches Theatermuseum, Vienna. Source: Wikicommons.

The painting on the obverse, “Nuda Veritas” or “Naked Truth,” was completed in 1899 and done using oil on canvas. Klimt based this painting on a quote by German philosopher Friedrich Schiller, almost a hundred years earlier. Basically, Schiller was saying that to try and please everyone is not good. Klimt was inspired by Schiller’s statement and used it to clearly state that modern art is the “Truth,” since the mirror the woman holds in her hand is facing outward and reflecting the modern paintings in the rooms at the exhibition in Vienna at that time.

The painting of the obverse is part of a painting by Klimt depicting the biblical story of Judith (Salome), recounting the story of her seductive deception of Nebuchadnezzar’s general, Holofernes, and the eventual beheading of him. Klimt positioned women as the saviour of Israelites through this painting. Judith used her charms and feminine ways to distract and kill the invading Holofernes. Klimt again used his muse Adele Bloch Bauer as the model for this painting.

The new coin is struck in 986 fine gold to a maximum mintage of 30,000 pieces in proof quality only. The diameter of the coin is 22mm and it contains 10 grams of fine gold. Each coin is packed in an attractive box with a numbered certificate of authenticity, which is six pages in length and provides detailed background and technical information about the coin.

A beautiful wooden collection case for the whole series, “Klimt and his Women”, may be purchased separately and is accompanied by a detailed information booklet.

The next two coins of the series are: 2015: Hygieia from the faculty painting Medicine; 2016: The Kiss.

More information on the previous issues of this series are available here and here.

And for more details go the Austrian Mint website.