Happy Birthday Gustave Klimt!

Danae 1907 Klimt

Today is the birthday of the Austrian Symbolist artist Gustave Klimt (b. 1862 – 1918).  Klimt was one of the main members of the Secession movement. 

Hygeia Klimt


 He studied in the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts until 1883 and then studied architectural painting and began his career painting Friezes and ceilings in  public buildings in Vienna.

The Kiss Klimt

He received the Golden Order of Merit from Emperor Franz Josef 1 Austria 1888.  His main subject was the female body and he is very famous for his sumptuous use of gold leaf in his work (which is known as  his Golden period).  He was very much influenced by the mosaics he saw on his travels to Italy, and also fashion, which I think shows in his work.  A wonderful account of this interesting artist’s life story can be read here.  For an interpretation of his most famous work ‘The Kiss’ and more details about Klimt, read my post ‘Behind the Paint by Gustave Klimt’

The Kiss image from here and Danae here

Family authorised website here

9 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Gustave Klimt!

  1. Klimt was at that magical moment between the 19th and 20th centuries where painting was representational, but heading toward the abstract. I get that 50/50 feeling when I look at his more familiar paintings. Of late, I have come to appreciate his landscapes more. Thanks Lynda for your nice post honoring his birthday.

    1. I must take a closer look at his landscapes Al – maybe feature them. There’s lots of birthdays to come. I only have one criterion, and that is that I actually like the artist’s work. (so as you can imagine – lots of birthdays coming:) )

  2. This is, by far, my daughter’s favorite artist. I bought her a book that has a collection of his paintings and she has thanked me for it several times saying she sits and pages through it often. I asked her why, one time, and she thinks it’s that he made women beautiful. I thought that very interesting. Thanks for the post about him, Lynda.

  3. 🙂 yes he does! I think you can tell he really ‘likes’ women and appreciates their form – even idealising them. I think if he had lived today he would probably have gone into fashion design – his paintings are so tactile. Your daughter certainly has good taste 🙂

  4. dear lynda,

    i found what i am looking for! the kiss by klimt. i have seen this previously from hiro as an attchment image for his poem. i find it wonderful. thanks for sharing these beautiful paintings of gustav klimt.
    he is truly genius when it comes to the female form.

    happy weekend to you.

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