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Everything You Should Know About Gustav Klimt and His Life

Austrian painter from the nineteenth century, Gustav Klimt, is one of the most prominent artists that changed the way we perceive the style and artistic perspective all around us.

He was born back in 1862, and he is widely recognized due to highly decorative style as well as erotic nature of his art, whichwas considered as a rebellion against the traditional perspective of art especially in his time.

The most famous paintings that Gustav Klimt made are Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer and The Kiss. He was born on the outskirts of Vienna, and his mother was musically talented,andhis father was struggling gold engraver that emigrated from Bohemia to Vienna.


As you can see, he was probably genetically predisposed to enter the world of arts, and he presented immersive and notable talent from the very early age.

When he was fourteen years old, he attended the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts on a full scholarship, which is a great thing when we have in mind the poverty in which he was raised and lived in during his youth years.

During the studies, Klimt received classical and conservative training that he accepted as the groundwork of his future art. After that, he focused on architectural painting as well, and his ambition was to become a drawing teacher.

As time went by, his ambitions started to increase, and his talent gave him the ability to earn a small fee while he was at school. When he graduated, the next thing he did was opening a studio with his younger brother and best friend.

They called themselves Company of Artists, and the trio decided to focus their works on murals with the idea to set aside personal inclination so that they can achieve classical style among Vienna’s aristocracy and upper class at that time.

This particular decision was a great thingbecause that allowed him to gain numerous commissions so he painted public spaces, theaters, churches and that gave him also an ability to work on different projects so that he can create an artistic persona others would like.

The most prominent works he made during this time are ceilingabove the staircase at Kunsthistorisches Museum and mural at Vienna Burgtheater. You should click here, if you wish to learn more on Gustav Klimt and his prominent art pieces.

The group gained honor for achievements in 1888 when he received Golden Order of Merit from Franz Josef I who was Austro-Hungarian Emperor.

When 1890 entered the scene, Klimt brothers joined Vienna Artist’s Association, which was a conservative and traditional artistic group that had a monopoly on exhibitions throughout the city.

He continued to align himself with prominent figures of the traditional art world, and soon afterward, he started to pave his path toward a perfect and unique artistic future.


Everything You Should Know About Gustav Klimt and His Life 1

After his brother got married, he decided to paint a portrait of Emilie for the first time. That was the beginning of fantastic friendship that will have an impact on Klimt’s later work.

Even though both his brother and mother died in 1891, which was a horrible personal tragedy, due to melancholy he began to avoid naturalistic trappings that he used before and created a more personal style that relied on symbolism.

After his brother passed, the Company of Artist was much more challenging to maintain, and even though they received commissions, but Klimt wanted artistic freedom, so he resigned the membership in Vienna Artist’s Association and created a new one called Vienna Secession.

To learn more on Vienna Secession, you should visit this link:

He rejected academic and classical art, but the group did not have a particular style that all of them preferred, but instead they focused on supporting nontraditional artists and brought international art to Vienna so that they can make appropriate exhibits.

Golden Phase

He made three murals for the University of Vienna in 1900 called Philosophy, Jurisprudence, and Medicine. However, they were not met with an appropriate response, and that resulted in a petition where public urged that these murals feature pornographic nature.

Even though he had obstacles along the way, his success reached its peak during this time, and his Medicine was exhibited in Paris and received Grand Prix.

He created a series of paintings for extensive use, and he implemented ornamental gold leaf that resembled Byzantine mosaics. Among the best works of this particular period, we can consider The Kiss, Danae, and Judith.

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