Amazing hidden allegories, mysterious and alluring smiles of the heroines, luxurious ornaments and, of course, an abundance of gilding are recognizable features of the master’s masterpieces. Gustav Klimt ‘s path to success was not easy: customers did not understand and rejected his work, the audience was shocked by the dramatic eroticism of his works.
Gustav Klimt was always an innovator, he tried new ideas and directions. He easily mastered the techniques and ideas of impressionism, experimented with expressionism and cubism, created ornamental landscapes and decorative works, painted portraits and allegorical panels. And at the same time, he did not for a moment renounce the right to freedom of creativity, self-expression, bringing something of his own to each genre.
Biography of Gustav Klimt
Gustav Klimt was born on July 14, 1862 in Baumgarten. The boy’s father, Ernst, worked as an engraver, but did not excel in the profession. Mother, Anna, tried to become a musician, but, alas, to no avail. In total, there were seven children in the family and all of them had artistic abilities.
The boy took his first drawing lessons from his father. In 1876, Gustav Klimt passed the exams at the art school in Vienna, where a year later the younger brother of the master, Ernst, also began to study. The elder brother’s specialization was architectural painting, and the work of Hans Makart became a role model. The training continued until 1883.
While still students, the Klimt brothers and Franz Match, who joined them, made up a magnificent artistic trio together, and were invited to paint the pavilion in Karlovy Vary. They then frescoed and decorated the interiors of the provincial theatres. After graduation, the team of young artists did not break up, but rather united. Together they opened an art workshop in Vienna.
At first they were invited only by provincial towns, but then they became interested in the capital. Klimtov and Match in 1885 were hired to decorate the building of the Burgtheater. And later they were hired to paint the Vienna Museum of Art and History. The artists made good money on these orders and in 1892 they decided to expand to consolidate their success.
Alas, the end of the year is overshadowed by the loss – Ernst dies, and only a duet remains from the trio. Taking into account the fact that the artist’s father had died a year earlier, all the worries about the financial situation of the family fall on Gustav. Among other things, he took on the responsibility of taking care of his brother’s widow, 28-year-old Helen Flögge, as well as her tiny daughter.
Elena’s younger sister and Gustav’s sister-in-law was Emilia – the artist’s muse, his only love, for life.
From 1897 Klimt’s transformation began.
From a solid academic painter, he turned into the leader of the avant-garde. And concurrently – the president of the Secession founded by him, which included Austrian rebel artists.
In 1900, the master painted allegorical paintings for the University of Vienna (“faculty” cycle), which were sharply criticized. These paintings finally spoiled the reputation of the painter in the eyes of the public. More with government orders, the artist never contacts.
Gustav Klimt died in 1918, February 6 – he died of a stroke and pneumonia. His grave is located in the most famous of Vienna’s cemeteries – Hitzing.
Interesting facts from life
The painting “Judith and Holofernes” turned out to be so decadent that many called it “Salome”, hinting at another biblical parable. In it, the daughter of Herod demanded and received for her dance the head of the Christian Saint John the Baptist.
Although Klimt is said to have been happily in love, he never married Emilie. His last words before the stroke struck the artist were: “Call Emilia.”