Sunday, July 14, 2013
July 14 - Gustav Klimt
Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt was born on July 14, 1862, near Vienna, where he studied architectural painting and produced murals for public buildings in the prevailing classical-realist style. In the 1890s his painting became personal and experimental, and criticism of that work impelled him to help establish the artists’ movement known as the Vienna Secession (1897), which rebelled against prevailing Viennese conservatism in art, with its orientation toward traditional historical styles, and staged exhibitions for new young artists. Klimt's style combined rich, decorative surfaces with complex symbolism and allegory, often with blatantly erotic content. His “Golden Phase,” in which he widely used gold leaf, brought acclaim and financial success. Key works of the period are the “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I” (1907) and his famous work, “The Kiss” (1907–08, pictured), which reflected fin-de-siècle sensuousness and decadence in an opulent style influenced by Art Nouveau, medieval illuminated manuscripts and Japanese prints.