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  • Gustav Klimt
    Jul 14, 1862 - Feb 6, 1918
  • Portrait of Marie Henneberg - Gustav Klimt was an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism - nowhere is this more apparent than in his numerous drawings in pencil.
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Portrait of Marie Henneberg
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  • Portrait of Marie Henneberg

  • Gustav Klimt
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  • 1901-2
    Courtesy Stiftung Moritzburg, Kunstmuseum des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt.

    Klimt's treatment of the dress, on the other hand, is uncharacteristically reminiscent of Whistler's light brush. The proudly distant expression that he gives to this society woman is typical of Klimt; it is encountered again and again, from this time on, in his femmes fatales. One of the great themes of the fin de siecle was the domination of woman over man. The battle of the sexes preoccupied the salons; artists and intellectuals participated in the discussions. Klimt's 1898 Pallas Athene is the first archetypal "superwoman" in his gallery: with her armour and weapons she is sure of victory and she subjugates man, or perhaps the whole of mankind. Some elements appear in this picture which would be decisive in Klimt's subsequent work: for instance, the use of gold and the transformation of anatomy into ornamentation, of ornamentation into anatomy. Klimt remains active on the surface, unlike the younger generation of Expressionists who seek immediate penetration of the psyche. Klimt's visual language takes its symbols, both male and female, from Freud's dream world. The voluptuous ornaments reflect the eroticism which represents one side of Klimt's visions of the world as he knew it.

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Other paintings by Gustav Klimt:

Portrait of Margarethe Stoneborough-Wittgenstein
Portrait of Margarethe Stoneborough-Wittgenstein
Portrait of Marie Breunig
Portrait of Marie Breunig
Portrait of Rose von Rosthorn-Friedmann
Portrait of Rose von Rosthorn-Friedmann
Portrait of Serena Lederer
Portrait of Serena Lederer
Gustav KlimtGustav Klimt was born in Baumgarten, near Vienna, Austria. He was educated at the Vienna Kunstgewerbe Art School in the years 1879-1883. Klimt was also an honorary member of the Universities of Munich and Vienna. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches and other art objects, many of which are on display in the Vienna Secession gallery. His work is distinguished by an elegant use of gold backgrounds and mosaic patterns. This can be seen in Judith I (1901), and in The Kiss (1907). Art historians note an eclectic range of influences contributing to Klimt's distinct style, including Egyptian, Minoan, Classical Greek, and Byzantine inspirations. Klimt was also inspired by engravings of Albrecht Dürer, late medieval European painting, and Japanese Ukiyo-e. Klimt was one of the founding members of the Wiener Sezession (Vienna Secession) and of the periodical Ver Sacrum. He left the movement in 1908. He died in Vienna of pneumonia and was interred at the Hietzing Cemetery, Vienna.