Gustav Klimt was an Austrian symbolist painter whose work was characterized by the use of gilding technique, the use of decorative patterns and curved lines. Klimt belonged to the generation of artists who dominated the cultural life of Vienna at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Klimt's paintings are often described as some of the most sensual works ever created.
The most prominent creator of the Viennese Secession and a master of the avant-garde
Gustav Klimt was born on July 14, 1862 in Baumgarten, Austria. His father was engaged in engraving in gold and silver, which is why Gustav learned the basics of this craft at the age of 14. In the years 1876-1883 he attended the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, where he studied under the supervision of Christian Griepenkerl - among others the art of painting frescoes and mosaics.
To earn a living, Klimt became an illustrator for Viennese magazines including Jugend (Youth), Neue Freie Presse (New Free Press) and Wiener Mode (Viennese Fashion). These illustrations often featured couples in love, which would later become one of his most famous works.
Gustav Klimt was fascinated by human form and desire, and he portrayed it very well in his erotic drawings. In his paintings, however, he tried to be more delicate in his message. Although at that time Vienna was quite artistic and open to novelties, the city government and traditional artists strongly criticized this type of works and the newly emerging avant-garde trend.
The Union of Austrian Artists
Gustav Klimt quite openly said that he did not agree with the universal adherence to academic canons in art. That is why, together with their colleagues, who also wanted to show their work in more progressive versions, they decided to establish an association that would bring together extraordinary figures of artistic Vienna. The Union of Austrian Artists - Vienna Secession was founded on April 3, 1897 by, among others Gustav Klimt, designer Koloman Moser and architects Josef Hoffmann and Joseph Maria Olbrich.
The Vienna Secession was a group of Austrian artists and architects who seceded from the official state academy of arts. The secessionists were not only against the conservatism of the academy, but also wanted to establish a new style that was clearly modern and artistic. They wanted to prove that art can be both beautiful and functional.
The most famous works of Klimt - gold, beauty and closeness of two people
Gustaw Klimt used to say: "I am not interested in my own person as a subject of painting, I am more interested in other people, especially women" and it was just like that. His love for women was very evident in his painting work. Klimt's paintings, mainly depicting female silhouettes, have become one of the painter's most popular works.
The 180x180 cm work of art by Klimt, "The Kiss", proudly decorates the walls of the gallery in Vienna's Belvedere. The painting, depicting couple lost in a loving embrace, was completed by Klimt in 1908 and became the artist's most popular work and one of the leading works of the Viennese Art Nouveau period.
The painter was inspired to create the "Kiss" by his trips to Ravenna, where he was fascinated by the San Vitale mosaics. The artist combined his admiration for this type of art with the skills he acquired in the past - gold processing. Klimt's Kiss is a representation of his "Golden Age", in which he used gold flakes to create his works. His work became an archetype of tenderness and passion.
The dispute over "Adele", the most expensive painting in the world
The second most important work by Gustav Klimt is the famous portrait of Adela Bloch-Bauer. Adela came from the bourgeoisie, was a beautiful and educated woman. Her portrait was commissioned by her husband, a wealthy sugar factory owner. Work on the painting began in 1903 and lasted 4 years. During the creation of his work, Klimt used gold leaves, inspired by a mosaic portrait of the Byzantine empress Theodora. It is believed that Gustav had an affair with Adele. It is believed that proof of this may be his next work "Judith" and the thesis that he immortalized in his portraits only people who had a great influence on his life.
The portrait of the golden Adela became famous in the late 1990s, when a court dispute over recognition of the rightful owner of the painting began. It was requested by Adela's niece, Maria Altmann, who claimed that there were no grounds for her aunt's painting to be in the collection of the Belvedere gallery. And she demanded that the painting be returned to her family. After eight years - in 2006, Austria finally returned the portrait of Adela to Maria. The lawyers proved that the rightful owner of Klima's work was Adela's husband, Ferdynand Bloch-Bauer, and he handed it over to his family in his will. Maria, after receiving the portrait of Adela, later in the same year sold it to billionaire Ronald Lauder for 135 million dollars, thus making the painting by Gustav Klimt one of the most expensive works of art in the world.
Reproductions of Gustav Klimt's paintings in modern interior arrangements
The prevailing fashion for Klimt is most apparent in Vienna. Reproductions of his works can be bought in practically any form - from paintings to glasses with his famous "Kiss". And no wonder, because his works impress with their technique and workmanship. You can also buy reproductions of Gustav Klimt's paintings in the form of vintage posters in our store. They will be perfect accessories for interiors that lack bold decorative elements.
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