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Chapter 33 Part 2 - The Mysterious Art Museum

A street artist's life changed when he ended up at a mysterious art museum. DBT,Korean,Novel,Translation,Art,Artist,Slice of life,Poor to Rich,Mystery

I followed Klimt, looking intently at the right hand of the lady currently experiencing ongoing pain.

1906 in Austria.

Numerous buildings were being constructed in a new architectural style. Some were still under construction, others being adorned with external decorative art. The city was bustling with workers hanging on most of the buildings' exteriors.

Yet, the city was already beautiful.

Thanks to Klimt catching a carriage used like taxis back then, I, hanging onto the back of the carriage, got a full view of Vienna, soon to be known as the cradle of art, a city itself called art. After arriving at a house slightly less grand than the mansion we just left, but still fitting to be called a mansion, I jumped off the back of the carriage.

"Nobody can see me."

I did all sorts of crazy things under the guise of an experiment while hanging onto the carriage.

I'm not sure if the people of this era would recognize it as an insult, but I even flipped the middle finger and shouted at passersby, yet nobody saw me.

Now that I'm sure, I can act more boldly.

After entering the mansion, Klimt placed his bag next to the sofa in the living room and took off his hat and coat. Then a man's voice came from the kitchen.

"Are you here?"

A man with black hair and a scruffy beard came out holding two coffee cups.

As soon as I saw his face, I remembered the man from the portrait in my memory.

'Ernst Klimt. The painter and Klimt's younger brother who co-founded the Artist Company with him.'

Klimt received a coffee cup from his brother and sat on the sofa, leisurely enjoying the aroma.

Ernst, looking at his brother quietly, sat next to the sofa and said,

"Has it been three months already? It seems longer than usual."


"I know it takes you long to complete a portrait. But this time, it's particularly long."

"Well, yeah."

Three months to complete a portrait?

No, he hasn't even picked up the brush yet.

Klimt's portraits are remarkable, but they don't seem to require three months of work.

I could finish such work in three days if I really went at it, given my experience with all-nighters since my art school days.

Ah, what nonsense am I thinking?

That's only possible when copying someone else's work.

If it's about conceptualizing a painting from scratch, who knows how long it would take.

But still, three months seem excessive.

He should consider the person waiting.

Ernst leaned on the sofa, propping his chin, and looked at his brother's face.

"How many sketches did you do today?"

Klimt silently rummaged through his bag and threw a notebook at him.

As Ernst flipped through the notebook, I boldly moved behind him and peeked, confident that they couldn't see me.


Inside Ernst's rapidly flipping notebook.

An uncountable number of sketches of the lady's face were there.

Front, side, diagonal views, her head slightly raised or bowed down - sketches from various angles.

Does drawing one person's portrait require this many preparatory sketches?

In a way, it almost seems like a frightening obsession driven by madness.

Ernst seemed to think similarly, shrugging his shoulders and returning the notebook.

"With this much, you could draw her with your eyes closed."

Klimt closed his eyes, smelling the coffee.

"If it's about drawing faces, maybe."

"Portraits are about drawing faces, brother."

Klimt responded with a slight smile to his brother's words.

"Who says so?"

"What do you mean?"

"Who says portraits are just about drawing faces?"

"Isn't that obvious?"

Klimt put his coffee cup on the table and looked into his brother's eyes.



"Imagine you go to the studio right now to paint a self-portrait."


"What kind of picture would you want to leave through your self-portrait?"


"Do you just want to leave a picture that looks like your face?"


"If that's the case, you might as well just look in a mirror."


"You'd want your painting to capture your inner self and your current emotions. All your sorrow, anguish, joy, and ecstasy. From the moment you enter the studio to paint your self-portrait, you'd have such a purpose in mind."

"Yeah, you're right."

Klimt reopens his notebook and gazes at the sketches of Mrs. Bauer's face.

"It's the same with the lady. People don't just want a painting that looks like their face."

Klimt closes the notebook with a snap and continues,

"People commissioning portraits have hidden wishes that the painter sees their inner selves. And they hope that these will be revealed through the painting."

Klimt stands up and heads towards the studio, saying,

"Realizing that and applying the utility of art to people's lives is our duty as artists."

I didn't notice either Klimt heading to the studio or Ernst scratching his head with a bitter smile.

Hearing Klimt's last words, I stood there, motionless, with a dazed expression.

'To make the utility of art applicable to people's lives is the artist's duty.'

It's a concern I've never contemplated in my entire life.

Can I really call myself an artist after this realization?

Can I still claim to be an artist with conviction?

What have I been doing with my life all this time?

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