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Klimt, Gustav (1862 - 1918)

The painter Gustav Klimt was born on July 14, 1862 in Baumgarten (today part of the 14th district in Vienna). He is considered the main figure of Austria’s Art Nouveau. From 1897 to 1905 he was president of the "Wiener Sezession", of which he was also co-founder. His pictures, painted with unobtrusive colours full of symbolic power, are a combination of two-dimensional, mosaic-like elements and Art Nouveau ornaments. According to Klimt himself, who never painted self-portraits, he preferred to paint people - “especially women” in mostly erotic forms. From his paintings, the viewer "should seek to recognize what I am and what I want.” Gustav Klimt died on February 6, 1918 in Vienna.

 

Photo: Verein Gedenkstätte Gustav Klimt

 

Biographical overview

1862 Born on July 14 in Baumgarten near Vienna (todaypart of Vienna’s 14th district, Linzer Strasse 247)

1876-83 Attended the School of Applied Arts of the Austrian Museum for Art and Industry.

1879 Worked at the pageant of Hans Makart in honour of the imperial couple’s silver wedding .

1883 Establishment of the "Künstlerkompanie" (Artists’ Company): Gustav Klimt and his brother Ernst, as well as Franz Matsch, shared a studio on Sandwirtgasse 8, 6th district, Vienna.

1883-85 Works by the Artists’ Company for the Town Theater in Fiume (Croatia) and Karlsbad (Bohemia), as well as for the Bucharest National Theater (Romania)

1886-91 Works by the Artists’ Company on the frescos of the staircases of the Vienna Burgtheater and on the frescos of the staircases in the Vienna Art History Museum

1892 Death of beloved brother Ernst and his father. In the same year moved to his studio in Josefstädterstrasse 21, 8th district, Vienna

1894 Commissioned to paint the faculty paintings for the University of Vienna together with Franz Matsch. Beginning of artistic estrangement between Klimt and Matsch.

1897-99 President of the Wiener Secession

1898 From this year on Klimt spends the summer months in the Upper Austrian Salzkammergut (mostly at Lake Attersee). He paints his first landscape paintings

1898 First and second exhibition of the Secession with works by Gustav Klimt

1899 Painting "Schubert at the piano", considered one of his most popular paintings in his lifetime (burned in 1945)

1900 Exhibition of the 1st version of the faculty painting "Philosophy" at the Secession. It leads to an art scandal (the 3 faculty paintings, that are also considered an absolute principal work, are burned in1945)

1902 Portrait of Emilie Flöge. Beginning of a life-long friendship with the fashion parlour owner

1902 14th exhibition of the Secession: Beethoven frieze

1905 Left the "Klimt Group" (Gustav Klimt, Josef Hoffmann, Otto Wagner, Kolo Moser a.o.)

1905-11 "Stoclet frieze". In the Stoclet Palace in Brussels (Belgium)

1907/08 Painting of ‘The Kiss’. Considered one of the icons of Viennese Art Nouveau.

1911/12 Moved to his new studio on Feldmühlgasse

1912 "Avenue at the Palace Chamber at Lake Attersee"
"Adele Bloch Bauer II"

1915 "Unterach near Lake Attersee"

1916 "Death and Life", for which Gustav Klimt was awarded first prize in 1911 in Rome at the International Art Show, is reworked on Feldmühlgasse

1917 "Adam and Eva"

1918 Death of Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt Memorial Society
Auhofstrasse 43
1130 Vienna
E-mail: office@klimt.at