The art of Gustav Klimt is characterized by the spirit of the fin de
siècle of a feudal-bourgeois society, striving for the greater pleasures in life. This
included the lascivious and the erotic, which artists hoped to find in
that which was beautiful.
His fame was primarily built on his reputation as the greatest painter of
erotic art towards the close of the 19th century, although he was also
known as an excellent landscape painter.
Born on July 19th, 1862 in Baumgarten near Vienna, he enrolled at the
School of Arts and Crafts, Fine Art and Industry in Vienna in 1876. Ten
years later he began working on large murals for the Vienna Burgtheater.
As a popular and much sought after Salon painter, he took over the
leadership of the Viennese Secession, whose artists influenced the
development of Art Nouveau. In the field of consumer design, Klimt also
had a strong influence on the Viennese workshops, founded by Josef
Hoffmann and Koloman Moser. His spacious style, in which figurative
components combined with ornamental elements to produce cunning
decorative-sensual effects, reached its peak in his widely admired erotic
portraits of women. To the artist, the world appeared in a "feminine