Gustav Klimt

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Klimt, Gustav

(go͝os`täf klĭmt), 1862–1918, Austrian painter. He cofounded the Vienna Secession group, an alliance against 19th-century eclecticism in art, and in 1897 became its first president. In the following decade Klimt became the foremost painter of art nouveauart nouveau
, decorative-art movement centered in Western Europe. It began in the 1880s as a reaction against the historical emphasis of mid-19th-century art, but did not survive World War I.
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 in Vienna. He created many murals for public buildings, e.g., the frieze for the Palais Stoclet, Brussels (1908). Klimt achieved his greatest fame as a portrait and landscape painter of exotic and erotic sensibility. Delineating symbolic themes with extravagant rhythms, Klimt was the quintessential exponent of art nouveau. The Museum of Modern Art and the Neue Galerie, both in New York City, own outstanding examples of his work.


See his catalogue raisonné by F. Novotny and J. Dobai (tr. 1969); C. B. Bailey, Gustav Klimt: Modernism in the Making (2001); S. Koja, ed., Gustav Klimt: Landscapes (2002); M. Bisanz-Prakken, Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line (2012).

Klimt, Gustav


Born July 14, 1862, in Vienna; died there Feb. 6, 1918. Austrian painter.

Klimt studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Vienna from 1875 to 1883. A founder of the Vienna Sezession (1897), he served as its president until 1905. In the style of art nouveau, Klimt painted symbolist compositions, portraits, and landscapes. He subordinated flat images to a refined decorative rhythm and to a fractured pattern of small patches of color (panel for the Vienna Burgtheater, 1888; Portrait of A. Bloch-Bauer, 1907, Austrian Gallery of the 19th and 20th Centuries, Vienna).


Pirchan, E. Gustav Klimt. Vienna [1956].