Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian
Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna
Art Nouveau (Vienna Secession) movement. His major works include
paintings, murals, sketches and other art objects, many of which are on
display in the Vienna Secession gallery. Klimt's primary subject was
the female body, and his works are marked by a frank
eroticism--nowhere is this more apparent than in his numerous drawings
in pencil (see Mulher sentada, below). These female subjects, whether
formal portraits or indolent nudes, invariably display a highly
sensitized fin de siècle elegance.
ustav Klimt (* 14 de julio de 1862 - † 6 de
febrero de 1918) fue un pintor simbolista austríaco y uno de los
miembros más prominentes del movimiento Art Nouveau de Viena.
Gustav Klimt nació en Baumgarten, cerca de Viena, Austria. Era el
segundo hijo de seis del matrimonio entre Ernst Klimt (1832-1892) y
Anna Klimt, el padre fue un grabador procedente de una familia
campesina de Bohemia. Perteneció al movimiento art noveau y al
Ingresó a los catorce años en la Escuela de Artes Aplicadas, al igual
que dos de sus seis hermanos y en la Escuela de Artes y Oficios de
Viena entre los años 1879 y 1883, donde aprendió a trabajar las
técnicas de las artes decorativas y tuvo que realizar un curso de
preparación obligatoria; sus maestros fueron Michael Rieser, Ludwing
Minnigerode y Karl Hrachowina. Su hermano mayor escultor y cincelador,
Georg, diseñó numerosos marcos para los cuadros de Gustav.
Al graduarse, se une a la Compañía de Artistas formada por su hermano
Ernst Klimt y Franz Matsch y realiza su primer trabajo importante, la
decoración del Teatro Municipal de Fiume en Yugoslavia. Fundó la
Secesión de Viena y su revista "Ver Sacrum".
Klimt fue famoso por usar oro y representar mujeres desnudas en sus
pinturas, utilizaba modelos que pertenecían a la burguesía vienesa,
pero también tenía un séquito de mujeres prostitutas o de vida humilde
que le servían de musas. El tema que trata en la mayoría de sus cuadros
es la sexualidad femenina recorriendo el ciclo de la vida en todas sus
etapas: procreación, gestación, infancia, juventud y vejez, salud y
hermosura, enfermedad y muerte. Sus mayores trabajos incluyen pinturas,
murales, bocetos y otros objetos de arte, muchos de los cuales están en
exposición en Viena.
Gustav Klimt murió a causa de un derrame unos meses antes del colapso
del Imperio Austrohúngaro, y fue enterrado en el cementerio vienés de
Hietzing, donde sigue hoy. Un número considerable de sus obras fue
confiscado por la dictadura nazi. Al avance de las tropas enemigas, y
al ver que sus obras se convertirían en botín de guerra, decidieron,
por desgracia, quemar el castillo donde éstas permanecían confiscadas.
En junio de 2006 una de sus pinturas, el retrato de Adele Bloch-Bauer,
se convirtió en la segunda pintura más cara de la historia de la
pintura, al venderse por 135 millones de dólares adquirida por el
magnate de los cosméticos Ronald Lauder, la primera es el "Jackson
Pollock # 5 ,1948" al venderse en una subasta por 140 millones de
Gustav Klimt The Kiss Wallpapers Links Art Wallpapers
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Artwork Pictures, Biography
Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an AustrianSymbolist painter and one of the most
prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects. Klimt's primary subject
was the female body,
and his works are marked by a frank eroticism—nowhere is this more
apparent than in his numerous drawings in pencil (see Mulher sentada,
Gustav Klimt was born in Baumgarten, near Vienna,
the second of seven children — three boys and four girls.
All three sons displayed artistic talent early on. His father, Ernst
Klimt, formerly from Bohemia, was a gold engraver.
Ernst married Anna Klimt (née Finster), whose unrealized
ambition was to be a musical performer. Klimt lived in poverty
for most of his childhood, as work was scarce and economic advancement
was difficult for immigrants.
In 1876, Klimt was awarded a scholarship to the Vienna School of Arts
and Crafts (Kunstgewerbeschule), where he studied
until 1883, and received training as an architectural
He revered the foremost history painter of the time, Hans
Makart. Klimt readily accepted the principles of a conservative
training; his early work may be classified as academic.
In 1877 his brother Ernst, who, like his father, would become an
engraver, also enrolled in the school. The two brothers and their friend
Franz Matsch began working together; by 1880 they had received numerous
commissions as a team they called the "Company of Artists", and helped
their teacher in painting murals in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Klimt began his professional career painting interior murals and
ceilings in large public buildings on the Ringstraße
including a successful series of "Allegories and Emblems".
In 1888, Klimt received the Golden order of Merit from Emperor Franz Josef I of
Austria for his contributions to murals painted in the Burgtheater
He also became an honorary member of the University of Munich
and the University of Vienna. In 1892 both
Klimt's father and brother Ernst died, and he had to assume financial
responsibility for his father's and brother's families. The tragedies
affected his artistic vision as well, and soon he would veer toward a
new personal style. In the early 1890s, Klimt met Emilie Flöge, who,
notwithstanding the artist's relationships with other women, was to be
his companion until the end of his life. Whether his relationship with
Flöge was sexual or not is debated, but during that period Klimt
fathered at least 14 children.
Klimt became one of the founding members and president of the Wiener
Sezession (Vienna Secession) in 1897 and of the
group's periodical Ver Sacrum (Sacred Spring). He remained
with the Secession until 1908. The group's goals were to provide
exhibitions for unconventional young artists, to bring the best foreign
artists' works to Vienna, and to publish its own magazine to showcase
The group declared no manifesto and did not set out to encourage any
particular style -- Naturalists, Realists, and Symbolists all coexisted. The government
supported their efforts and gave them a lease on public land to erect an
exhibition hall. The group's symbol was Pallas Athena, the Greek goddess of just causes, wisdom, and the arts—and
Klimt painted his radical version in 1898.
In 1894, Klimt was commissioned to create three paintings
to decorate the ceiling of the Great Hall in the University of Vienna. Not completed
until the turn of the century, his three paintings, Philosophy, Medicine
and Jurisprudence were criticized for their radical themes and
material, which was called "pornographic".
Klimt had transformed traditional allegory
and symbolism into a new language which was more overtly sexual, and
hence more disturbing.
The public outcry came from all quarters — political, aesthetic, and
religious. As a result, they were not displayed on the ceiling of the
Great Hall. This would be the last public commission accepted by the
artist. All three paintings were destroyed by retreating SS
forces in May 1945. His Nuda Verita (1899) defined his bid to
further shake up the establishment. The starkly naked red-headed woman
holds the mirror of truth, while above it is a quote by Schiller in stylized lettering, "If you cannot
please everyone with your deeds and your art, please a few. To please
many is bad."
In 1902, Klimt finished the Beethoven Frieze for the 14th Vienna Secessionist
exhibition, which was intended to be a celebration of the composer and
featured a monumental, polychromed sculpture by Max
Klinger. Meant for the exhibition only, the frieze was painted
directly on the walls with light materials. After the exhibition the
painting was preserved, although it did not go on display until 1986.
During this period Klimt did not confine himself to public
commissions. Beginning in the late 1890s he took annual summer holidays
with the Flöge family on the shores of Attersee and painted many of his landscapes there. Klimt was
largely interested in painting figures, these works constitute the only
genre aside from figure-painting which seriously interested Klimt.
Klimt's Attersee paintings are of a number and quality so as to merit a
separate appreciation. Formally, the landscapes are characterized by
the same refinement of design and emphatic patterning as the figural
pieces. Deep space in the Attersee works is so efficiently flattened to a
single plane, it is believed that Klimt painted them while looking
through a telescope.
Klimt's 'Golden Phase' was marked by positive critical reaction and
success. Many of his paintings from this period used gold leaf; the
prominent use of gold can first be traced back to Pallas Athene
(1898) and Judith I (1901), although the works
most popularly associated with this period are the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I
(1907) and The Kiss (1907 - 1908). Klimt
travelled little but trips to Venice and Ravenna, both famous for their
beautiful mosaics, most likely inspired his gold technique and his
Byzantine imagery. In 1904, he collaborated with other artists on the
lavish Palais Stoclet, the home of a wealthy Belgian industrialist,
which was one of the grandest monuments of the Art
Nouveau age. Klimt's contributions to the dining room, including
both Fulfillment and Expectation, were some of his finest
decorative work, and as he publicly stated, "probably the ultimate stage
of my development of ornament."
Between 1907 and 1909, Klimt painted five canvases of society women
wrapped in fur. His apparent love of costume is expressed in the many
photographs of Flöge modeling clothing he designed.
As he worked and relaxed in his home, Klimt normally wore sandals and
a long robe with no undergarments. His simple life was somewhat
cloistered, devoted to his art and family and little else except the
Secessionist Movement, and he avoided café society and other artists
socially. Klimt's fame usually brought patrons to his door, and he could
afford to be highly selective. His painting method was very deliberate
and painstaking at times and he required lengthy sittings by his
subjects. Though very active sexually, he kept his affairs discreet and
he avoided personal scandal.
Klimt wrote little about his vision or his methods. He wrote mostly
postcards to Flöge and kept no diary. In a rare writing called
"Commentary on a non-existent self-portrait", he states "I have never
painted a self-portrait. I am less interested in myself as a subject for
a painting than I am in other people, above all women...There is
nothing special about me. I am a painter who paints day after day from
morning to night...Who ever wants to know something about me... ought to
look carefully at my pictures."
In 1911 his painting Death and Life received first prize in
the world exhibitions in Rome. In 1915 his mother Anna died. Klimt died three
years later in Vienna on February 6, 1918, having suffered a stroke and
He was buried at the Hietzing Cemetery in Vienna. Numerous paintings
were left unfinished.
Klimt's paintings have brought some of the highest prices recorded
for individual works of art. In November 2003, Klimt's Landhaus am
Attersee sold for $29,128,000,
but that was soon eclipsed by prices paid for other Klimts.
In 2006, the 1907 portrait, Adele Bloch-Bauer I, was
purchased for the Neue Galerie in New York
by Ronald Lauder for a reported US $135 million, surpassing Picasso's 1905 Boy With a Pipe (sold May 5, 2004 for
$104 million), as the highest reported price ever paid for a painting.
On August 7, 2006, Christie's auction house announced it was
handling the sale of the remaining four works by Klimt that were
recovered by Maria Altmann and her co-heirs after their
long legal battle against Austria (see Republic of Austria v. Altmann).
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II was sold at
auction in November 2006 for $88 million, the third-highest priced piece
of art at auction at the time.
'The Apple Tree I' (ca. 1912) sold for $33 million, 'Birch Forest'
(1903) sold for $40.3 million,
and 'Houses in Unterach on Lake Atter' (1916) sold for $31 million.
Collectively, the five restituted paintings netted over $327 million.
Klimt's work is often distinguished by elegant gold or coloured
decoration, spirals and swirls, and phallic shapes used to conceal the more erotic
positions of the drawings upon which many of his paintings are based.
This can be seen in Judith I (1901), and in The Kiss (1907–1908), and
especially in Danaë (1907). One of the most
common themes Klimt used was that of the dominant woman, the femme
Art historians note an eclectic range of influences contributing to
Klimt's distinct style, including Egyptian,
Minoan, Classical Greek, and Byzantine
inspirations. Klimt was also inspired by the engravings of Albrecht Dürer, late medieval European painting, and Japanese
Rimpa school. His mature works are characterized by a rejection of
earlier naturalistic styles, and make use of symbols or symbolic
elements to convey psychological ideas and emphasize the "freedom"
of art from traditional culture.
Klimt's work had a strong influence on the paintings of Egon
Schiele, whom he would collaborate with to found the Kunsthalle
(Hall of Art) in 1917, to try and keep local artists from going abroad.
National Public Radio reported on
January 17, 2006 that "The Austrian National Gallery is being compelled
by a national arbitration board to return five paintings by Gustav Klimt
to a Los Angeles
woman, the heir of a Jewish family that had its art
stolen by the Nazis. The paintings are estimated to be worth at
least $150 million."
Klimt's work has spawned many reinterpretations, including the works
artist Rudolf Fila.
Reichmann has published in 2008 a book called Mocheta lui Klimt
(Klimt's Carpet). As the author says in an interview
and even in one of the poems from the book, the title was inspired by a
carpet from a train he often attended, carpet that reminded him of
Klimt's paintings. Also, the front cover depicts an Art
Nouveau-styled passage from Bucharest.
South Korean novelist Kim
Young-ha frequently refers to Klimt, particularly Judith, in
his first novel I Have The Right To Destroy Myself. One of the
main characters in this novel is referred to by the other characters as
Judith because of her resemblance to Klimt's painting and is thus also
known primarily as Judith to the reader.
Gustav Klimt has left such a legacy behind that he has been the main
motive for many collector coins and medals, the most recent one is the
famous 100 euro gold coin The painting
coin. issued in November 5, 2003. The obverse depicts Klimt in his
studio with two unfinished paintings on easels.
Main Cast: John Malkovich, Veronica Ferres, Saffron Burrows, Georgia Reeve, Stephen Dillane
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 96 minutes
Klimt uses an amorphous, nonchronological narrative to cinematize
events from the life of one of the 20th century's most profound artists:
the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt (here portrayed by John Malkovich).
Ruiz begins with Klimt's painful death from syphilis, and spends the
remainder of the film transitioning, loosely and freely, between
episodes that befell the painter. The film pays particularly strong
attention to the artist's proclivity for scandalizing the European upper
crust with overtly erotic subject matter and presentation, and his many
affairs -- notably a lengthy one with his perpetual inspiration, Lea de
Castro (Saffron Burrows). Throughout Klimt's life, a figure known as the Secretary (Stephen Dillane)
comes and goes, who is actually a product of his fevered imagination --
and with whom the painter debates continually about the function of art
in contemporary Western civilization, and the relevance of the artist.
This enables Ruiz to create both a biographical sketch and a
philosophical treatise. Visually, Ruiz and director of photography
Ricardo Aronovich make the ambitious decision to recreate Klimt's style
of painting on a cinematographic plane.
Unfortunately, difficulty befell this picture from the beginning, when
the director (for some unascertainable reason) opted to draft the
initial script in French, have it translated into German, and then have
the German draft translated into English and revised by author Gilbert
Adair -- rendering the dialogue stilted and unconvincing. Complications
also arose on the distribution end. Still infuriated by the distributive
mutilation that befell his previous film, the whopping Time Regained
(and doubtless concerned that this might happen again), Ruiz pliantly
struck a bargain with distributors for Klimt. He trimmed his original,
135-minute "director's cut" down to a 96-minute "producer's cut" for
general consumption, which rendered much of the material less fluid and
coherent. Both versions screened at the 2006 Rotterdam Film Festival. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi