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Loving Beauty: Gustav Klimt, 5, textures and patterns

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 04:30 AM PST

After the peak of Klimt’s Golden Phase in 1907-8, there was a decline in his use of gold leaf in his paintings, the relationship with his young protégé Egon Schiele developed, and he had separated from the Vienna Secession over its exclusion of crafts from its exhibitions.

Gustav Klimt (1862–1918), Hope II (1907-08), oil, gold, and platinum on canvas, 110.5 x 110.5, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY. Wikimedia Commons.

Klimt still used precious metal leaf, including gold and platinum, in his Hope II (1907-08), originally titled Vision by the artist. As with his Hope I, it is a portrait of a woman who is heavily pregnant. The woman’s head is bowed and her eyes closed, which is echoed in the heads of three other women at the foot.

His model for both paintings is thought to have been Herma, one of his favourites. It is also decorated with many of the recurrent patterns and graphic elements which dominated his work in this period, such as the eye/corpuscle and small spirals like tendrils.

Gustav Klimt (1862–1918), The Kiss (Der Kuß) (1907–08), oil on canvas, 180 × 180 cm, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna, Austria. Wikimedia Commons.

Another of his major works, The Kiss (1907–08), is even more characteristic of his Golden Phase. Showing a couple, widely rumoured to be Klimt and Emilie Flöge, in an embrace, he exhibited it as the centrepiece of sixteen of his works in the first exhibition of the new splinter group. It was purchased from there by the Ministry of Education for the nation’s Moderne Gallery.

With Klimt’s personal intervention, the work of the young artist Oskar Kokoschka was included in that first exhibition, helping to launch the latter’s career. Although it had been expected to bring a storm of protest, that failed to materialise, and Kokoschka was so grateful that he dedicated a book to Klimt.

Gustav Klimt (1862–1918), Study for Judith II (c 1908), media not known, 54.2 x 34.5 cm, Leopold Museum (Die Sammlung Leopold), Vienna, Austria. Wikimedia Commons.

Klimt started work on a second version of Judith, for which he made this study in around 1908. This elevated view is a novel idea among paintings depicting Judith with the head of Holofernes, and her origins as a dancer are apparent here, blurring Judith with Salome and the beheading of John the Baptist.

In narrative terms, the confounding of these two stories may seem odd. In Judith and Holofernes, Judith is a good character who uses seduction as a means to a worthy end, and her joy is derived from her success in beheading the enemy general. In Salome and John the Baptist (after it was reframed by Moreau and Oscar Wilde), Salome is the evil seductress, whose erotic dance is used to induce Herod to have the good person beheaded; her joy is in having her own way, and in the martyrdom of a man who rebutted her advances.

At the time, though, both stories were becoming blurred in a sequence of dance by a seductress leading to the beheading of their partner – far from the Biblical origin of either.

Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), Judith II (Salome) (1909), oil on canvas, 178 x 46 cm, Ca’Pesaro, Galería de Arte Moderno, Venice. Wikimedia Commons.

Indeed Klimt’s finished painting of Judith II from 1909 shows his composite Judith/Salome bare-breasted, with the head of Holofernes/John at the lower right, its eyes closed. As in Judith I, at least the head of Judith appears to have been modelled by Adele Bloch-Bauer, and shows a state of near-ecstasy. This was purchased by the Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna from exhibition at the ninth Venice Biennale in 1910, and has remained there in Venice ever since.

In the summer of 1908, Klimt’s summer holiday with the Flöge family at Attersee was different: they stayed for the first time in the Villa Oleander, in Kammerl on Attersee, a location to which they returned each summer until 1912.

Artist not known, Gustav Klimt painting with a Telescope, Attersee (c 1905), photograph, further details not known.

It is not known when Klimt started painting with a telescope, but this photograph is believed to have been taken in about 1905, and clearly shows just that, with his easel at the left. From about 1908, many of the views which he painted during his summer holiday were of the other side of the lake, as seen through his telescope, and this accounts for their extreme loss of depth.

Gustav Klimt (1862–1918), Castle with a Moat (Unterach Manor on the Attersee Lake, Austria) (1908-09), oil on canvas, 110 × 110 cm, Národní galerie v Praze, Prague, Czech Republic. Image by Ophelia2, via Wikimedia Commons.

Castle with a Moat shows Unterach Manor on the Attersee Lake, and was probably painted in 1908 or 1909. It incorporates his almost Divisionist dotted foliage with contrasting smooth-textured walls of buildings, all softened in the reflected image. Given the water between the motif and the artist, this must have been painted through a telescope, or possibly from a boat on the lake.

The second exhibition of the splinter group from the Secession in 1909 featured works of art by European artists including Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Edvard Munch, Jan Toorop, Pierre Bonnard, and Lovis Corinth. Klimt also showed both Hope I and Hope II for the first time there, and Egon Schiele was given his own room too, launching his career. Later that year, Klimt visited Munich, Berlin, Paris, and finally Spain.

Gustav Klimt (1862–1918), The Park (1909-10), oil on canvas, 110.5 × 110.5 cm, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY. Wikimedia Commons.

The Park (1909-10) is overwhelmed by the fine but not completely random dots making up the foliage, with the slight relief of the trunks and shrubs at its foot.

Gustav Klimt (1862–1918), Schloß Kammer at Attersee (1910), oil on canvas, 110 × 110 cm, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna, Austria. Wikimedia Commons.

Schloß Kammer at Attersee (1910) is a view across the lake of this manor house, with contrasting textures in foliage, walls, rooves, and the reflections.

Gustav Klimt (1862–1918), Two Designs for Jewellery for Otto Wagner (1911), pencil and gouache and gold colour on paper, 56 x 37 cm, Leopold Museum (Die Sammlung Leopold), Vienna, Austria. Wikimedia Commons.

Throughout his career, Klimt was active in design work. Two Designs for Jewellery for Otto Wagner (1911) shows him transferring motifs from his large paintings to jewellery. He also designed ‘reform’ clothing which he, Emilie Flöge, and other women in his life wore, and over the period 1905-11 worked on a largely decorative frieze for the Stoclet Palace in Brussels, Belgium.

Gustav Klimt (1862–1918), Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II (1912), 190 × 120 cm, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna, Austria. Wikimedia Commons.

Klimt’s second Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer painted in 1912 lacks the breathtaking impact of the first, and is more decorative in its setting. Bloch-Bauer had the distinction of being the only person whose portrait Klimt painted twice, a reflection on the closeness of their relationship and her importance to Klimt’s art.

In 2006, Oprah Winfrey, the talk-show host, bought this painting for nearly $88 million. She sold it again ten years later for almost twice that price.

Gustav Klimt (1862–1918), Farmhouse in Upper Austria (1911-12), oil on canvas, 110 × 110 cm, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna, Austria. Wikimedia Commons.

In the summer of 1912, before going on his annual holiday at Attersee, Klimt met Emilie Flöge in Bad Gastein, to the south of Salzburg in the High Tauern Mountains; in the following summers, they changed their holiday location to Bad Gastein, and that is reflected in his landscape paintings from those years. Farmhouse in Upper Austria (1911-12) follows his works from Attersee in its textural treatment of foliage, but lacks the reflection.

Gustav Klimt (1862–1918), The House of Guardaboschi (1912), oil on canvas, 110 × 110 cm, Neue Galerie, New York, NY. Wikimedia Commons.

The House of Guardaboschi (1912) may have been painted in 1913, when Klimt stayed with the Flöge family during the first half of August at Lake Guarda in Italy.



Stephan Koja (2006) Gustav Klimt, Landscapes, Prestel. ISBN 978 3 7913 3717 3.
Rainer Metzger (2005) Gustav Klimt, Drawings & Watercolours, Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978 0 500 23826 4.
Various larger format books contain most or all of his figurative paintings.

How big is that file? How Finder and Terminal file sizes can mislead

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 03:00 AM PST

Other than the name and location of a file, the most obviously important information about it is its size. Although we may have learned to be sceptical of overall disk usage as quoted in the Storage tab of About This Mac…, and High Sierra often gives several different figures for free space available on volumes and disks, we trust what Finder’s Get Info reports for a file’s size, don’t we?

Perhaps we shouldn’t.

Here’s a little experiment to demonstrate that macOS – ever since its first beta release nearly eighteen years ago – doesn’t report file sizes accurately. In extreme cases, not even within 100%.

Take a small text file, in my example just 391 bytes of data. Open it in my extended attribute editor xattred, and paste in some hefty extended attributes copied from other files. Resource forks (com.apple.ResourceFork) such as image thumbnails or previews are usually pretty good. In my case, as well as a range of smaller extended attributes, I added a large chunk of keywords, and disguised an image preview as a ‘where from’.


Given that these come to a total of 90894 bytes in addition to the 391 bytes of data, any file size claimed to be less than 90 KB is clearly wrong.


Yet the Finder’s Get Info dialog still pretends that there are only 391 bytes, and that the file fits into a single 4 KB storage unit.

Try Terminal, using the ls command, and you’ll see the same:
-rw-r--r--@ 1 hoakley staff - 391 26 Oct 19:47 0icloudtest01.txt

It’s only when you add the @ command option to list the extended attributes that you can see how big that file really is:
-rw-r--r--@ 1 hoakley staff - 391 26 Oct 19:47 0icloudtest01.txt
com.apple.TextEncoding 836
com.apple.metadata:_kMDItemUserTags 50
com.apple.metadata:kMDItemCopyright 162
com.apple.metadata:kMDItemCreator 55
com.apple.metadata:kMDItemKeywords 9732
com.apple.metadata:kMDItemWhereFroms 80059

and then you’ll need to add the total up yourself.

Of course in HFS+ and APFS, those extended attributes aren’t stored in the normal file data on disk, but in the volume metadata. But they still occupy space, and when you come to copy that file anywhere, its extended attributes go with it. If the destination happens to be a USB memory stick in ExFAT format, Finder’s Get Info still ignores the extended attributes.


When you list the contents in Terminal, though, you’ll be shown the hidden file containing the extended attributes:
-rwxrwxrwx 1 hoakley staff hidden 94208 29 Jan 12:29 ._0icloudtest01.txt
-rwxrwxrwx@ 1 hoakley staff - 391 26 Oct 19:47 0icloudtest01.txt

Because ._0icloudtest01.txt is a single file containing all those extended attributes, it has a little additional overhead.

These days, with many files not using extended attributes and most of them relatively small, the difference between the file sizes given by macOS and the real figure including extended attributes is unlikely to be as great as in my pathological example.

But way back in the days of Classic Mac OS, this information was readily available in a bundled free tool, ResEdit, which offered a Get Info dialog quoting separate sizes for the data and resource forks of a file.


And over millions of files, even small extended attributes add up. Perhaps it’s time for macOS to get a little nearer telling the truth?

xattr: com.apple.icloud.itemName, iCloud Drive placeholder filename

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 01:00 AM PST

Type: com.apple.icloud.itemName
Subtypes: none
Serialisation: none
Data type: UTF-8 string containing the filename.
Example: <32303136 31302d33 30346765 6e697573 54697073 2e747874&gt ; «201610-304geniusTips.txt»
macOS: Sierra, High Sierra
System use: none
App use: none
Document use: none
Other usage: exclusively used by iCloud on stub files representing files which are not cached locally, but still stored remotely.

Purpose: gives the full name of the file represented by the stub
macOS/iCloud attaches these to stub files, with names starting with a stop/period, which represent files held in the cloud which are currently not stored locally. When the file is fetched to the local cache, the stub file, complete with its xattr, is removed. Thus the xattr only exists ‘in’ uncached files, and is stripped by iCloud/macOS to prevent it from appearing on any locally-stored files.

Tools: xattred, xattr


Original page: 2018-01-29
Last modified: 2018-01-29

How iCloud marks the place of documents stored remotely

Posted: 29 Jan 2018 11:30 PM PST

Today’s little insight into iCloud internals comes by way of a unique extended attribute (xattr) attached to files that aren’t really there at all: com.apple.icloud.itemName

I have been surveying my Macs for all the different types of xattrs which are present, and came across one which didn’t exist on my Sierra 10.12.6 system, but was present in quite large numbers on my High Sierra 10.13.2/10.13.3 system. It looked as if it was used in High Sierra and possibly iOS 11 to address issues over document naming in iCloud.

An example might be the com.apple.icloud.itemName xattr attached to the file /Users/hoakley/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~CloudDocs/backup1/.201605-299manageStorage.txt.icloud, which is shown in the Finder as being iCloud Drive/backup1/201605-299manageStorage.txt: this contains the text 201605-299manageStorage.txt, which is the file name.

At least it does when examined on my MacBook Air running High Sierra. I have been unable to find any such xattrs from my iMac running Sierra.

Worse still, the iMac and MacBook Air seem to be looking at quite different iCloud Drives, although they are connected to the same one. When run on the High Sierra system, my xattr scanner finds that the backup1 folder contains 235 files, of which 152 have xattrs, and they have a total of 362 xattrs of 26 different types. On the Sierra system, the same app finds five more files, of which 155 have xattrs, with a total of 392 xattrs of 36 different types.

Is iCloud Drive some sort of chameleon?

Like my mystery xattrs and files, it is and it isn’t. I think that I can now explain what is happening, the purpose of the com.apple.icloud.itemName xattr, and how iCloud Drive handles local and remote storage.

When your Mac is connected to iCloud Drive, macOS tries to cache iCloud Drive’s contents locally, to the volume seen in the Finder as iCloud Drive, but represented in Terminal’s Unix-style path of ~/Library/Mobile Documents. On my iMac running Sierra, that local caching is normally maintained for the entire contents of my iCloud Drive, as it has ample free disk space and a wired internet connection.

My MacBook Air has less free disk space, and a more intermittent Wi-Fi network connection. There, macOS opts to cache much of the contents of iCloud Drive locally, but leaves some files in the cloud, with local placeholders. In the Finder, these are represented by the small iCloud icon next to the filename.

In Terminal, those placeholders consist of a stub file of about 174 bytes, whose name starts with a stop/period. Those stub files contain that small amount of data and a xattr of type com.apple.icloud.itemName which contains the real name of the original file, still stored remotely. When you then fetch that file, for example by opening it, iCloud gets the file of that name, caches it locally, and the stub file with its xattr is removed.

If you’re snooping around in the file system, as I am when seeking out extended attributes, any stub files found there can cause confusion. Apart from the stop/period in front of their name, and their lack of content, they appear to shell scripts and apps just like real files, as they are. If you have scripts or apps which are likely to examine the contents of ~/Library/Mobile Documents or its Finder analogue of the iCloud Drive volume, your code needs to be mindful of the fact that it may encounter stub files and get thoroughly misled.

So xattrs of type com.apple.icloud.itemName are the only ones which exist solely in iCloud. They can’t be passed to a client system (unless by an unfortunate accident), and iCloud is careful to strip them from files which are copied or moved into cloud storage.