Austrian, 1862 - 1918
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Klimt was the son of an Austrian jeweller. From the age of fourteen to twenty he studied at the School of Plastic Art in Vienna. From the age of eighteen, he, his brother Ernst and Franz Matsch undertook commissions for decorative works. In 1897 he became the first President of the Vienna Sezession. Influenced first by Makart, he turned away from him after a trip to Vienna where he discovered Byzantine mosaics. In 1912, he withdrew from the Sezession and became President of the Austrian National Union of Artists. In 1917, he was granted an honorary professorship at the Viennese Academy.
From his early works, Klimt caused uproar. His works were frequently taken down; the Nazis burnt some of them. His technique is fairly classical, but his subjects were scandalous; naked girls mingle with skeletons, sexuality expressed in all its forms. Ornament is all-pervasive in his work; from this background the bodies struggle to the surface. He was witness to the decadence of an entire society and the fantastic world that his paintings occupy testify to this by their collection of sex and death, while the audacity and freedom of his graphic style foreshadow modern art.
Click here to view Gustav Klimt's grave.
A selection of art exhibitions which have featured this
- Diana and Actaeon: The Forbidden Glimpse of the Naked Body
- Fernand Khnopff. A Retrospective.
- Gustav Klimt and the Kunstschau 1908
- Gustav Klimt. Drawings (1879-1918)
- Gustav Klimt: Five Paintings from the Collection of Ferdinand and Adele Bloch-Bauer
- Gustav Klimt: Painting, Design and Modern Life in Vienna 1900
- Idealistes et Symbolistes
- Reflections and Shadows: Impressionism and 19th-Century Style
- Symbolism and Art Nouveau
- The Age of Rossetti, Burne-Jones and Watts: Symbolism in Britain 1860-1910
- The Sacred and Profane in Symbolist Art
- The Sensual Line – Japanese Woodcuts, Klimt, Schmalix, Araki, Takano
- Toorop in Vienna: inspiring Klimt
- Vienna 1900: Art, Architecture and Design
- Vienna 1900: Klimt, Schiele, Moser, Kokoschka
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