Artist in Focus - Gustav Klimt
Gustav Klimt was born in 1862 in Vienna and displayed an artistic talent from an early age. He went on to become an Austrian Art Nouveau painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement.
Early in his artistic career, he shared a studio for decorative painting with his brother. As he developed a more personal style, his work was the subject of controversy when the paintings he completed around 1900 for the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna were criticized as pornographic. He subsequently accepted no more public commissions.
Klimt became influenced by a variety of themes, including Japanese art, symbolism and the work of contemporary English painters.
Klimt is noted for his paintings depicting highly decorative and erotic female figures, usually with beautifully embellished backgrounds and clothing. He achieved a new success with the paintings of his “golden phase”, many of which include gold leaf.