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Chapter 62 Part 1 - 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

Beethoven Frieze (2)

Wow, it's not an exaggeration to say I almost died.

As I followed the man with the Hitler mustache and glasses into the building, a warm sensation greeted me. Still, it's cold. Heaters aren't a thing in this era. Is there a fireplace around?

I looked around frantically, but there was nothing like that.

Who would be crazy enough to put a dangerous fireplace in an art gallery?

The inside was at least better than outside, so I had no choice but to wait for my body to warm up.

I was still shivering while watching the man with the Hitler mustache put his bag and coat on a table on the first floor. The man, who had been touching his mustache, looked around the space enclosed by white, clean walls and muttered.

"Should I renovate the ceiling?"

The ceiling? It looks clean and nice as it is. It seems already finished.

But this person. Talking about interior design, he doesn't seem to be a painter. He looks more like an engineer.

The man with the Hitler mustache briefly inspected the first floor, then went down the stairs leading to the basement.

Will the basement be warmer? No, it might be colder.

After hesitating for a moment, I followed him down, not because I wanted to follow the unknown Hitler mustache, but because of the faint music coming from below. A song that every Korean knows.

Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Movement 4, Ode to Joy.

The beautiful and grand music coming from the basement. It always sounded like the music that played when I descended the stairs to the basement of the art gallery. Compelled by an obsession to go there, I followed the man with the Hitler mustache down a bit later.

The basement was cramped.

If compared to the size of a modern room, maybe about 24 pyeong? [T/N: One pyeong is equivalent to approximately 3.31 square metres or 35.58 square feet]

It's not small for a space, but for an art gallery's basement, it is.

But I had to stop halfway down the stairs to the modest basement and catch my breath.


A painting being drawn a bit higher than a person's height.

It's only about 2 meters high, but the length is an astounding 34 meters, nearly finished.

And a man hanging from a ladder, mixing paint.


Klimt in his 30s is here.

The man with the Hitler mustache, who descended before me, looked up at Klimt and said.

"How is your work going, Klimt?"

Klimt looked down from the ladder, smiling.

"You're here, Hoffmann."

As the name of the Hitler mustache, Josef Hoffmann, came out of Klimt's mouth, my head turned sharply, and my eyes widened.

'Josef Hoffmann! The architect who handled the design of the Stoclet Palace built in Brussels, Belgium, and a founding member of the Vienna Secession with Klimt.'

I can't believe I thought this person was a Hitler mustache.

Klimt climbed down the ladder and stood in the middle of the basement, looking up at the painting with a serious face.

"I've been thinking a lot because this is something new for me. I've already made several revisions."

Hoffmann stood next to him and said.

"It's just a painting that will be erased after the exhibition, why worry so much? I heard you used cheap materials for the painting."

"Well, I'm painting on plaster applied over a grid of wood."

"Using tin-plated drawing pins, colored glass buttons, and fake jewels, I see."


"The first exhibition isn't far away. It's already December. You should finish soon, it's nearly the end of 1902."

Not much left of 1902?

Then it's December 1901 now.

The Secession was founded in 1897, and this work was exhibited in 1902, so the timeline fits.

Klimt shook his head seriously.

"This isn't just a simple painting, Hoffmann. It's an expression of my respect. Even though it's a mural that will be erased after the exhibition, I don't want to leave a painting that would embarrass the Father of Music in heaven."

Hoffmann laughed and said.

"It's ironic that you, the leader of the Vienna Secession aiming to break tradition and conservatism, are painting a 34-meter picture in honor of Beethoven, a symbol of orthodoxy and conservatism."

Klimt mentioned the Father of Music. That's Beethoven.

And that painting is his masterpiece, the Beethoven Frieze.

A mural that still exists in Austria today.

But it's not the real mural left by Klimt.

I etched the painting into my eyes with trembling sight.

This mural was erased after the exhibition ended, just like the conversation between these two people.

The painting that is currently on display was restored later by the Austrian government.

This means that no one living today has seen the real mural painted by Klimt.

Who could have the fortune to witness such a thing?

How much value should be placed on such luck?

I couldn't take my eyes off the painting, moved to tears.

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