Gustav Klimt Art – History of Gustav Klimt’s Paintings & Life

Gustav Klimt’s illustrious career is a long tale of exceptional achievement in art. His work still gains fame across the world, far beyond the boundaries of his own Austria. In this special article we will illustrate his major works in chronological order. There is also comment on how prints are ideal reproductions of Klimt’s original works.We will pay particular attention to his most famous work, and a painting that remains one of the most popular paintings around the world, even today. That is The Kiss, which Klimt painted in 1908. As a regular traveler I have seen this iconic work in far flung parts of Asia & South America as well as its traditional home in Western Europe.To understand The Kiss painting, it is important to study the full art career of Klimt, with particular attention to the timing of his major works, and see where this great painting fits in.Gustav Klimt was born in 1862 in Baumgarten, close to the Austrian capital Vienna. His family was relatively poor for the time and life was hard for the Klimt’s with his father pressured to support the family adequately.After entering the Vienna Public Art School at the age of 14, Gustav Klimt set out on a path that would eventually lead to stardom and international acclaim.Klimt started his art career and spent the first few years designing stylish staircase decorative additions which gained him good feedback from his early customers, some well known Austrian museums in Vienna. Klimt’s notorious style also began to take shape already with gold paint, areas of detail and areas of abstract space, symbolism, the female figure appearing in one of his very early piece, The Tragedy.1892 marked an important time in Gustav’s life with the death of both his father and his brother Ernst. On a more positive note, he moved into a larger studio as his career started to gain momentum.Gustav soon started to gain as much controversy for his contemporary style as fame, and his work in public institutions was to dry up due to the conservative nature of their management. It was around this time that the Secession Movement began whose timing and ambitions were ideally suited to Klimt. He took a key role in this movement for some years to come as it developed into a popular element of the Vienna art scene, with many foreign contemporary artists included too.Klimt’s first levels of acclaim for his art came at around the turn of the century when he was featured, successfully, at the Paris World Fair. The preceding year he painted “Medicine” and “Judith and Holofernes” which remain as two of his most well known paintings with art lovers of the modern day. Beethoven Frieze and a portrait of Emilie Flöge followed in 1902 as the Secession Building continued to attract great numbers of visitors from both Austria and abroad.Klimt’s foreign popularity took him to Belgium and Italy as the Secession Movement built up a reputation throughout Europe. A private mansion commissioned some murals and he explored the artistic history of Italy looking for further inspiration. “Water Snakes” was also created around this time, 1904, which is another of his most famous paintings.Klimt decided to back his own artistic beliefs and quit the Secession movement along with with a number of other members to set up “Kunstschau”. This move helped to inspire Klimt to then paint “The Three Ages of Women” – another classic.1907 and 1908 marked a key stage in Klimt’s career, probably the most important, as he painted “Danae”, “Adele Bloch-Bauer” & “The Kiss”. The Kiss remains his most famous painting, and is the most purchased art reproduction, currently, with art lovers picking it up in print or poster form to show off in their homes and offices.Klimt’s concentration on eroticism as an inspiration for his art, which had earlier brought him controversy, began to be mixed in with other themes, most notably death, as seen in “Judith II”, “Hope” & “Death and Life”.Gustav Klimt continued to gift the art world more beautiful paintings up until his sudden death in 1918 after a combination of a stroke and pneumonia. The most famous Austrian artist was suddenly gone, but his original, glorious art still lives in on the hearts of art fans across the world.