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Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862February 6, 1918) was an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of Vienna Art Nouveau (Vienna Secession) movement.

Gustav Klimt
Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt was born in Baumgarten, near Vienna, Austria. He was educated at the Vienna Kunstgewerbe Art School in the years 1879-1883. Klimt was also a honorary member of the Universities of Munich and Vienna.

Judith I
Judith I

His major works include paintings, murals, sketches and other art objects, many of which are on display in the Vienna Secession gallery. At the personal request of John D. Rockefeller, Klimt designed the seal of the University of Chicago in 1907, despite having never visited the United States.

Mäda Primavesi
Mäda Primavesi

Klimt was one of the founding members of the so-called Wiener Sezession (Vienna Secession) and of the periodical "Ver Sacrum ". His work is distinguished by an elegant use of gold backgrounds and mosaic patterns. This can be seen in Judith I (1901, visible at right) and in The Kiss (1907). Art historians have noted a highly eclectic range of influences contributing to Klimt's distinct style, including Egyptian, Minoan, Classical Greek, and Byzantine inspirations. Klimt was also inspired by engravings of Albrecht Dürer, late medieval European painting, and Japanese woodcuts ("Ukiyo-e").

Klimt left the Sezession movement in 1908. He died in Vienna of pneumonia and was interred at the Hietzing Cemetery, Vienna.

Important works

  • Vienna University mural paintings
  • Palais Stocklet mosaic in Brussels
  • Judith I (1901)
  • Buchenwald (Birkenwald) (1901) [1]
  • Wasserschlangen I (The Hydra) (1904) [2]
  • Judith II [3]
  • Fritsa Reidler (1906) [4]
  • Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907) [5]
  • The Kiss (1907) [6]
  • Salomé (1909)
  • Adele Bloch-Bauer II (1912) [7]
  • Die Jungfrau (The Virgins) (1913) [8]
  • Houses in Unterach on the Attersee (1916) [9]
  • Beethoven frieze at the Secession Gallery in Vienna [10] [11]

Klimt in the news

In November of 2003, Klimt's Landhaus am Attersee sold for US$29,128,000.

On June 7, 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that 88-year-old Maria Altmann, the niece of Klimt model Adele Bloch-Bauer , could sue Austria in a U.S. court for the return of six Klimt paintings stolen from her uncle by the occupying Nazis in 1938. Kept by Austria after the war, the paintings are currently displayed in Vienna's Belvedere Palace. The paintings include the celebrated Adele Bloch-Bauer I and have a market value estimated at more than US $150,000,000.

External link

Last updated: 10-23-2005 07:52:03
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