|Gustav Klimt: The Kiss|
Gustav Klimt (14 july 1862-6. february 1918) was an Austrian painter. He was born in Baumgarten, near Vienna in Austria-Hungary, the second of seven children—three boys and four girls. His mother, Anna Klimt (née Finster), had an unrealized ambition to be a musical performer. His father, Ernst Klimt the Elder, formerly from Bohemia, was a gold engraver. All three of their sons displayed artistic talent early on. Klimt's younger brothers were Ernst Klimt and Georg Klimt.
|Klimt, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna|
Klimt lived in poverty while attending the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, where he studied architectural painting until 1883. In 1877 his brother, Ernst, who, like his father, would become an engraver, also enrolled in the school. The two brothers and their friend, Franz Matsch, began working together and by 1880 they had received numerous commissions as a team they called the "Company of Artists". They also helped their teacher in painting murals in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in
Vienna. Klimt began his professional career painting interior murals and ceilings in large public buildings on the Ringstrasse including a successful series of "Allegories and Emblems".
|Pallas Athene or Minerva|
Klimt was one of the most prominent members of the Art Noveau movement in Vienna and he had an enormous importance to the following generation (like Oskar Kokoschka.) Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches and other objets d'art. Among the artists of the Vienna Secession, Klimt was the most influenced by Japanese art and its methods.
|detail from Medicine, Hygeia|
His Nuda Veritas (1899) defined his bid to further "shake up" the establishment. The starkly naked red-headed woman holds the mirror of truth, while above her is a quotation by Friedrich Schiller in stylized lettering, "If you cannot please everyone with your deeds and your art, please only a few. To please many is bad."
|Klimt, landscape with birch trees|
|Klimt: Emilie Flöge|
In 1902, Klimt finished the Beethoven frieze for the Fourteenth Vienna Secessionist Exhibition, which was intended to be a celebration of the composer and featured a monumental polychrome sculpture by Max Klinger. The frieze was painted directly on the walls with light materials. After the exhibition the painting was preserved, although it was not displayed again until 1986. The face on the Beethoven portrait resembled the composer and Vienna Court Opera director Gustav Mahler.
Trips to Venice and Ravenna with their beautiful mosaics most likely inspired his gold technique and his Byzantine imagery. He collaborated in 1904 with other artists on the Palais Stochlet, one of the grandest monuments of the Art Noveau age. Klimt's contributions to the dining room, including both Fulfillment and Expectation,
were some of his finest decorative works.
Klimt: from Palais Stochlet
In 1905, Klimt created a painted portrait of Margarete Wittgenstein, Ludwig Wittgenstein's sister , on the occasion of her marriage. Then, between 1907 and 1909, Klimt painted five canvases of society women wrapped in fur. His apparent love of costume is expressed in the many photographs of Flöge modeling clothing he had designed.
|Klimt: Sonia Knips|
Early in his career he was a successful painter of archictectural decorations in a conventionel manner but he developed a more personal style and his work became the subject of controversy especially caused by the paintings he completed around 1900 for the ceiling of the great hall of the University of Vienna,which were critisized as pornographic.
He achieved a new success with the paintings of his golden phase . Klimt's 'Golden Phase' was marked by positive critical reaction and financial success. Many of his paintings from this period included gold leaf. Klimt had previously used gold in his Pallas Athene (1898) and Judith I (1901), although the works most popularly associated with this period are the Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer I (1907) and The Kiss (1907–08).
In 1911 his painting Death and Life received first prize in the World Exhibitions in Rome.
Klimt's paintings have brought some of the highest prices recorded for individual works of art. In 2006, the 1907 portrait, Adele Bloch Bauer I,
|Klimt: Adele Bloch-Bauer|
|Klimt: Houses in Unterach on Lake Atter|
In 1915 Anna, his mother, died. Klimt died three years later in Vienna on February 6, 1918, having suffered a stroke and pneumonia due to the worldwide influenza epidemic of that year. He was buried at the Hietzinger cemetery in Hietzing, Vienna. Numerous paintings by him were left unfinished
The city of Vienna, Austria had many special exhibitions commemorating the 150th anniversary of Klimt's birth in 2012.
images from Wikipedia.