Gustav Klimt finished this painting 1918, the same year he died.
I love this painting. It is vibrant and mysteriously letting you know that he is ready to commence a new life. I say this because this painting is filled with symbolisms.
Lets start with the background of the painting; a bright yellow that symbolizes wisdom.
It is also a color that we can easily see, like a sunny day, provide us with clarity and amazing awareness.
In this bright yellow background, he has painted the lotus flower and the phoenix.
The lotus flower opens with the sun, and at night, closes its petals symbolizing birth and rebirth, just like in many beliefs and religions.
Lotus flowers' roots are in muddy waters, just like us, being inflicted by our ego causing sin.
We can have a new birth just like the constant beauty of a blooming lotus.
This flower has so many beautiful symbols such as purity, divine beauty, resurrection, and enlightenment.
The Phoenix is the eternal cycle of time and existence; symbolizing the importance of old endings and new beginnings, with each rebirth at a higher level. In some cultures the phoenix is purple, which is the color of spiritual fulfillment and peace.
Did you know that the Celtic Goddess Rhíannon which inspires poets, artists and singers, traveled with these magic birds that also had healing powers.
Now lets look at the lady with fan. The lady graciously stands with one shoulder exposed while the other covered, as suggesting the two forces that we contain as human beings.
She is holding with her right hand a fan. In Chinese mythology/religion the fan was used by many Gods to drive evil away and to deflect the negative "chi".
I love this painting as I said before, and this is my personal interpretation of this painting. I love to imagine what the artist was thinking while creating his work.
Every time I look at this painting, I wonder if it was his way to shed his old self and commence a new journey of eternal bliss.
Now it is your turn to interprate it. We all see and experience things differently which makes life fun!