Thursday, April 30, 2009

Discover: Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt was born on July 14th 1862 in Baumgarten, a town near Vienna in Austria. He was the second child out of seven and spent most of his youth in poverty. At the age of 14 he received a scholarship to the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts where he was trained as an architectural painter. His professional career began as he was commissioned to paint interior murals and ceiling in large public buildings.

In 1897 Klimt became a founding member and president of the Vienna Secession, an organization of artists during the Vienna Art Nouveau period. The government supported them and commissioned many projects but as Klimt began to use women as his primary subject and portray a frank eroticism, he became a target of public outcry from political and religious groups. Although he stopped accepting public commissions after the incident, he kept painting and would eventually receive critical acclaim and success around 1907 during his 'golden phase' which derived from his prominent use of gold.

Klimt died in 1918 having suffered a stroke and pneumonia, but his paintings have brought some of the highest prices recorded for individual works of art. In 2006 a portrait Klimt painted in 1907 sold for $135 million which surpassed Picasso's Boy with a Pipe by almost $31 million.

+ Gustav Klimt at

- Sonic

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