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Gustav Klimt - Adele Bloch Bauer I

Adele Bloch Bauer I

Nationality Austrian
Born 1862
Died 1918
Style Symbolism
Gustav Klimt - Judith I

Judith I

Gustav Klimt - The Tree Of Life (Stoclet Palace)

The Tree Of Life (Stoclet Palace)

Life of Gustav Klimt

Life and Times  Klimt was born to a poor family – his father was a migrant from Bohemia, who worked as an engraver. When a teenager, Klimt enrolled at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, where he continued studying until the age of 21.

Klimt joined forces with his brother Ernst and a fellow student to form a small interiors painting concern. Together they made a successful team, creating impressive murals in large public buildings.

But in 1892, Klimt lost both his brother and father. He began to spend less time on large interior decorative works, instead turning to the creation of works on canvas. Many of his paintings celebrate the female form, containing a blend of eroticism and nudity.

His personal life echoed the thoughts portrayed in his art – he had a long time companion in Emile Flöge, but she acted as the only rock in a stormy sea of prosmicuity – he fathered over a dozen children to an assortment of women.

In 1897 Klimt and a number of fellow artists ‘seceded’ from Vienna’s art establishment, founding the Vienna Sezession group. In 1902 the Sezession mounted an exhibition honoring Ludwig van Beethoven – Klimt's contribution was a series of spectacular murals now known as the Beethoven Frieze.

During the late 1890s and early 1900s, Klimt produced a series of mixed-media canvases, incorporating gold-leaf and silver foil into the painting. This is commonly called his ‘Golden Period’. Famous works include the Stoclet Frieze, a series of murals on the dining room walls of the Stocklet Palace in Brussels. Canvases include Judith I, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, and The Kiss. Paintings from Klimt’s Golden Phase are so iconic, and sort after, that today they fetch amazing prices when they are (rarely) auctioned. Tens of millions of dollars is typical.

Later in his life, Klimt returned to painting in pure oils. He died in 1918 in Vienna, the result of a stroke. The world had lost one of its best artists.

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Gustav Klimt - The Kiss
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Gustav Klimt - Lady With Hat
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Gustav Klimt - Hope I (detail)
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Gustav Klimt - Music
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Why in 100 Best?

Klimt’s work is the very epitome of decoration – the gold, silver, and intricate mosaics add shine and form to blatantly erotic work, rich with thinly disguised symbolism. Or in one phrase - Gustav Klimt Life of the Supreme Decorator.


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Best Artists - Life of Gustav Klimt - Info, Paintings, Wallpapers 1280x1024,1024x768,1280x800 - 77 votes