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GUSTAV KLIMT

(July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918)

 

 

 

One of Art Nouveau’s renowned and adored symbolist artists.

 

Gustav Klimt hailed from Austria, the son of a gold engraver. A scholarship gained him entry to the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, where he studied architectural painting. This kick started his professional career as a painter of interior murals and ceilings in large public buildings on Vienna’s Ringstrasse, including a successful series of "Allegories and Emblems".

 

Initially influenced by an eclectic mix of art (classical, arts & crafts, impressionism and Japanese art), he developed his own style of art nouveau and teamed up with a group of artists who bucked the conservative trend in the arts world. This was the start of the Secession Movement and included, amongst others, Koloman Moser, Carl Moll, Josef Hoffmann and architect Joseph Maria Olbrich.

 

Olbrich designed their beautiful exhibition space – The Secession building in Vienna. Its primary aim was to showcase the art of unconventional young artists and their motto, proudly displayed on the building is “To every time its art. To art its freedom”

 

         

Joseph Olbrich, unknown, Koloman Moser, Gustav Klimt in 1898   

             

      The Seccesion Building in Vienna

Ver Sacrum ('Sacred Spring' in Latin) was the official magazine of the Vienna Secession from 1898 to 1903.

 

The female form and erotic poses were key themes of Klimt’s work, often producing such a back lash of public opinion, as to deny him popularity (and work, within the public domain) during his own lifetime.

His artistic genius was not limited to erotic art, but also spanned symbolism, portraiture, landscapes and a lusciously decorative style that is instantly recognisable.

 

Today, Gustav Klimt is best known for his use of gold leaf in various paintings, particularly the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer (now known as the Woman in Gold), and of The Kiss (possibly featuring Klimt and his lifelong companion Emilie Louise Floge).

 

Klimt was a free spirit, shying away from café society and preferred to spend his time with his family (it is thought he fathered 14 children).  The notoriety that Gustav Klimt has achieved with regard to his living arrangements, seems at odds with the self-effacing artist who painted for the love of his craft, who grew up in poverty and chose to live a simple life when it could have been otherwise, who never created a self-portrait, and who enjoyed promoting the works of others.

 

Klimt died at the relatively young age of 55, a casualty of a flu epidemic, the disease contracted within a month of suffering a stroke.  His legacy is a portfolio of unique artwork, which is highly prized today.

 

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Klimt Dancer

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Klimt Flower Garden

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Klimt Flower Garden

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Klimt Tree of Life

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Klimt Turquoise

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Klimt Red

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Klimt Tree of Life

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Klimt Turquoise

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Klimt Red

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Klimt Turquoise

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Klimt Gold

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Klimt Turquoise

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Klimt Turquoise

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Klimt Red

Price: £49.95
Klimt Red

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Red Klimt

Price: £29.95