Gustav Klimt

A portrait of Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) was one of the most influential and important artists of the Art Nouveau era. Klimt was born in Baumgarten, a suburb of Vienna, Austria. His father repressed his youth-spent studying drawing and painting. After Klimt financially recovered from his father’s death in 1873, he studied at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts gaining an appreciation for the works of the Old Masters and an understanding of the Viennese Secession, a modernist art movement that was in full swing at the turn of the century.

By the late 1880s, Klimt had begun to receive commissions for portraits and murals from wealthy Viennese families and was soon a formidable figure in the art world. His paintings were characterized by a richness of symbolism and detail, often incorporating elements of search of the secure and often aching for the transcendent.

In 1897, Klimt co-founded the Vienna Secession, a group of artists to challenge the status quo in the art world by focusing on anti-traditional, avant-garde works of art and bringing in foreign influences from the East and West. As the Secession's leader and most famous member, Klimt's golden canvases, portraying mythical scenes and sensual nudes of mythical goddesses and real women, made him a household name.

Throughout the beginning of the 20th century, Klimt’s works became increasingly more abstract and symbolist. His paintings were a distinct departure from the realism that was prevalent in late 19th-century Vienna and much of Europe, earning him criticism and even opposition from the critics of the time. His most famous and well known works, 'The Kiss' and 'The Tree of Life', brought him to the forefront of the late 19th-century Viennese art cene and propelled his notoriety even further.

Klimt’s work continues to be celebrated and his influence remains one of the most important of the Vienna Secession. His dreamy, serene, ethereal, and abstract art embodies a modernist aesthetic that continues to be represented in a wide array of art, from film to fashion.

Gustav Klimt's artwork is a great choice for decorating your living space because it is colorful, vibrant, and full of life. Klimt's paintings often featured gold leaf, which often makes luxurious and beautiful pieces. It is also an art form that has been a part of many historical cultures, which can also provide a sense of historical reference to the space. Lastly, Klimt's paintings typically feature bold, expressive shapes and lines that provide a visually stimulating backdrop for the space.