Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt was a symbolist painter. He is one of the most dominant fellow of the Vienna Secession movement…….

QUICK FACTS

Born: July 14, 1862

Born Place: Baumgarten, Vienna, Austria

Died: February 6, 1918

Death Place: Vienna, Austria

Nationality: Austrian

On view: Museum of Applied Arts, Leopold Museum, etc

Periods: Art Nouveau, Symbolism, Modern art, Vienna Secession, Neoclassicism, Realism, Surrealism, Romanticism

Gender: Male

BIOGRAPHY

Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objet d’art. Klimt’s primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism. In addition to his figurative works, which include allegories and portraits, he painted landscapes. Among the artists of the Vienna Secession, Klimt was the most influenced by Japanese art and its methods.

Early in his artistic career, he was a successful painter of architectural decorations in a conventional manner. As he began to develop a more personal style, his work was the subject of controversy that culminated when the paintings he completed around 1900 for the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna were criticized as pornographic. He subsequently accepted no more public commissions, but achieved a new success with the paintings of his “golden phase”, many of which include gold leaf. Klimt’s work was an important influence on his younger peer Egon Schiele.

EARLY LIFE

Gustav Klimt 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 lived in poverty while attending the Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule, a school of applied arts and crafts, now the University of Applied Arts Vienna, where he studied architectural painting from 1876 until 1883. He revered Vienna’s foremost history painter of the time, Hans Makart. Klimt readily accepted the principles of a conservative training; his early work may be classified as academic. 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 that 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”.

In 1888 Klimt received the Golden Order of Merit from Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria for his contributions to murals painted in the Burgtheater in Vienna. He also became an honorary member of the University of Munich and the University of Vienna. In 1892 Klimt’s father and brother Ernst both died, and he had to assume financial responsibility for his father’s and brother’s families. The tragedies also affected his artistic vision and soon he would move towards a new personal style. Characteristic of his style at the end of the 19th century is the inclusion of Nuda Veritas (naked truth) as a symbolic figure in some of his works, including Ancient Greece and Egypt (1891), Pallas Athene (1898) and Nuda Veritas (1899). Historians believe that Klimt with the nuda veritas denounced both the policy of the Habsburgs and Austrian society, which ignored all political and social problems of that time. In the early 1890s Klimt met Austrian fashion designer Emilie Louise Flöge (a sibling of his sister-in-law) who was to be his companion until the end of his life. His painting, The Kiss (1907–08), is thought to be an image of them as lovers. He designed many costumes that she produced and modeled in his works.

During this period Klimt fathered at least fourteen children.

SELECTED WORKS

  • Klimt University of Vienna Ceiling Paintings
  • Palais Stoclet mosaic in Brussels
  • Fable (1883)
  • Idylle (1884)
  • The Theatre in Taormina (1886–1888), Burgtheater, Vienna
  • Auditorium in the Old Burgtheater, Vienna (1888)
  • Portrait of Joseph Pembauer, the Pianist and Piano Teacher (1890)
  • Ancient Greece II (Girl from Tanagra) (1890–91)
  • Portrait of a Lady (Frau Heymann?) (1894)
  • Music I (1895)
  • Love (1895)
  • Sculpture (1896)
  • Tragedy (1897)
  • Music II (1898)
  • Pallas Athene (1898)
  • Flowing water (1898)
  • Portrait of Sonja Knips (1898)
  • Fish Blood (1898)
  • Schubert at the Piano (destroyed 1899)
  • After the Rain (Garden with Chickens in St Agatha) (1899)
  • Nymphs (Silver Fish) (1899)
  • Mermaids (1899)
  • Philosophy (1899–1907)
  • Nuda Veritas (1899)
  • Portrait of Serena Lederer (1899)
  • Medicine (Hygieia) (1900–1907)
  • Music (Lithograph) (1901)
  • Judith I (1901)
  • Buchenwald (Birkenwald) (1901)
  • Gold Fish (To my critics) (1901–02)
  • Portrait of Gertha Felsovanyi (1902)
  • Portrait of Emilie Flöge (1902)
  • Beech Forest (1902)
  • Beech Grove I (1902)
  • Beethoven Frieze (1902)
  • Beech woods (1903)
  • Hope (1903)
  • Pear Tree (1903)
  • Life is a struggle (1903)
  • Jurisprudence (1903–1907)
  • Water Serpents I (1904–1907)
  • Water Serpents II (1904–1907)
  • The Three Ages of Woman (1905)
  • Portrait of Margaret Stonborough-Wittgenstein (1905)
  • Farm Garden (Flower Garden) (1905–06)
  • The Stoclet Frieze (1905–1909)
  • Portrait of Fritsa Reidler (1906)
  • Sunflower (1906–07)
  • Farm Garden with Sunflowers (1907)
  • Danaë (1907)
  • Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907)
  • Poppy Field (1907)
  • Hope II (1907–08)
  • Schloss Kammer [de] on the Attersee I (1908)
  • The Kiss (1907–08)
  • Lady with Hat and Feather Boa (1909)
  • The Tree of Life (1909)
  • Judith II (Salomé) (1909)
  • Black Feather Hat (Lady with Feather Hat) (1910)
  • Schloss Kammer on the Attersee III (1910)
  • The Park (1910)
  • Death and Life (1911)
  • Cottage Garden with Crucifix (destroyed) (1911–12)
  • Apple Tree (1912)
  • Forester’s House, Weissenbach on Lake Attersee (1912)
  • Portrait of Mäda Gertrude Primavesi (1912)
  • Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II (1912)
  • The Maiden (Die Jungfrau) (1913)
  • Semi-nude seated, reclining (1913)
  • Semi-nude seated, with closed eyes (1913)
  • Portrait of Eugenia Primavesi (1913–14)
  • Lovers, drawn from the right (1914)
  • Portrait of Elisabeth Bachofen-Echt (1914)
  • Semi-nude lying, drawn from the right (1914–15)
  • Portrait of Friederike Maria Beer (1916)
  • Houses in Unterach on the Attersee (1916)
  • Death and Life (1916)
  • Garden Path with Chickens (destroyed)(1916)
  • The Girl-Friends (destroyed) (1916–17)
  • Woman seated with thighs apart, drawing (1916–17)
  • The Dancer (1916–1918)
  • Leda (destroyed) (1917)
  • Portrait of a Lady, en face (1917–18)
  • The Bride (unfinished, 1917–18)
  • Adam and Eve (unfinished, 1917–18)
  • Portrait of Johanna Staude (unfinished, 1917–18)

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 17 July 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

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