Austrian Art Nouveau > Vienna Secession Painter
Klimt was a lightning rod for harsh criticism throughout his career. He either worked in the "wrong" style, was too "vague" for popular tastes or was far, far too "explicit" for Viennese sensibilities. After repeated skirmishes with both the State and the Artists Association, Klimt and ten other like-minded artists formed the Vienna Secession in 1897. Though the group was wildly successful, inevitable personality and style clashes arose and Klimt resigned from the Secession in 1905.
He is best known today for his sensual portraits of women (clothed or otherwise), enhancing his jewel-like palette with gold and silver paints, mother of pearl and bits of real jewelry, and his immense talent as a draftsman. Klimt was also a friend and mentor (though not teacher) to Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka.
Beethoven Frieze, 1902
The Three Ages of Woman ("Die drei Lebensalter der Frau"), 1905
The Kiss, 1907
Death and Life, 1908-11
Birth: July 14, 1862, Baumgarten (near Vienna), Austria
Death: February 6, 1918, Vienna, Austria