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Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt (1862 – 1918)

Gustav Klimt, the artist known for his sketches and murals, the Symbolist painter was born in the year 1862 near Vienna.

Klimt took up art seriously and studies in the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts till the year 1883. During this period, he developed a liking for various art forms and slowly started gaining mastery in architecture. He also took up mural works and started a career in art with mural painting.

Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt

Due to his style of working and perfection with mural painting, during the late 1870s and the early 1880s, Klimt quickly became the most sought after painter for decorating the interiors of museums, theaters and halls with his mural work.

Similar to some of the painters of the yesteryear’s, many of Klimt’s paintings had women as the subject. And these paintings portrayed women mostly in the nude and in the most erotic forms. Many of his models were prostitutes who were willing to pose however Klimt wanted them to. His most famous work till date is ‘The Kiss’ in which he portrays an embracing couple in a semi-realistic style.

In the year 1897, Gustav Klimt founded the Vienna Secession along with a few prominent artists and he was associated with the Secession till the year 1908. During this period, various exhibitions of Klimt’s works were conducted through the Secession.

Many landscape paintings of Klimt are known for their distinct style and texture. Emphatic and bold patterns brought out through refined designs and selective use of color make his pieces stand apart. His emphatic expressions probably stem from his mural painting background it is observed.

Klimt then started taking up different styles of symbolism in his paintings which later became a part of his identity. His symbolism is observed to be influenced by various historical and legacy styles such as Egyptian, European and Japanese  Ukiyo-e. However, the most significant inspiration has been that of Byzantine frescoes which is seen in his various works. This aspect in fact added a decorative imagery to his paintings and brought out a rich sophisticated appeal with the use of elegant gold.

Another fact that is distinct of Gustav Klimt is that he never painted a self-portrait and one of his post card writings says this is because Klimt found himself less interesting.

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