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Gustav Klimt Artworks and Famous Paintings

Who is Gustav Klimt? Why did he paint figures that seem unnatural in flowers, and why were these figures either nude or decorated with gold? For those who are curious about the answers to these questions, this post is for you. Come now let’s start this journey with Gustav Klimt’s most valuable painting.



The Life of Gustav Klimt and Paintings (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918)


Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I

135 million dollars!

No. This is not a soccer player’s testimonial fee.

The price at which Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, made in 1907, was sold.


Gustav Klimt

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, 1907 by Gustav Klimt


At an auction held in 2006, a new record was broken by selling work at this price. A very high sum for a painter who was a local value to his native Austria while he was alive and still a little out of sight.

But in his country, Gustav Klimt was not only known for his sparkling, erotic art. He was also known for the controversies these works caused. As an unconventional rebel, he led the separation at the art institution in Vienna.


The Life of Gustav Klimt and Paintings (July 14, 1862 - February 6, 1918)

The Life of Gustav Klimt and Paintings (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918)


It was also the pioneer of a trend known for its rich patterns and golden sparkling portraits. Although he lived in relatively recent history, we don’t know much about him, but we know his art and his distinctive green depictions very well.



Golden Child of Painting

Where does Gustav Klimt’s admiration for the color gold and his success in using it come from?

Of course from his father.

The son of a gold engraver father, Gustav Klimt was the second and first son of seven children.

He and his brother Ernst found a scholarship to the University of Applied Arts Vienna and became close friends with another painter, Franz Matsch, there.

In 1881, the three formed the artists’ association (Künstler-Compagnie) to promote their work, and eventually gained prestigious business orders and widespread reputation. The style of his early paintings was conventional neoclassicism, with figures straight out of Michelangelo’s frescoes, and people loved it.

Gustav Klimt seemed to be on the way to a prosperous career as a systems painter. But when he had gained widespread acceptance, and things were much easier for him now, he chose the difficult and decided to abandon his style.

Ernst’s death in December 1892 also contributed to his abandonment of style.

Ernst’s death triggered the dissolution of the Artists’ Association in 1894.

The influence of impressionist painting was another actor in his abandonment of style.


Gustav Klimt

Mäda Primavesi, 1912-1913 by Gustav Klimt


This trend arrived in Austria quite late, but gradually innovative painters such as Klimt adopted the French’s new use of colors and techniques.

The Austrian painting system resisted this innovation as every traditional attitude does; the State-sponsored Association of Visual Artists Vienna Secession rejected both impressionism and everything it symbolized.

Contradictions between traditional and innovative painters were veiled for several years, and the issue became a reality that could no longer be hidden in 1897.



Medicine by Gustav Klimt

While Gustav Klimt was trying to define himself as a member of the avant-garde, he was also working on a job he took in his more conservative period.

In 1892, the Ministry of Education invited the Artists’ Association (Künstler-Compagnie) to paint a series of great allegorical paintings for the ceiling of the Grand Hall of the University of Vienna.

Several years of negotiations delayed the start of painting (by the way the artists’ association (Künstler-Compagnie) had dissolved); Despite this, Klimt was asked to illustrate the allegories of Law, Medicine, and Philosophy.

While exhibiting the finished works between 1900 and 1903, Klimt also revealed his unusual new style:

Medicine by Gustav Klimt


Medicine, 1900-1907 by Gustav Klimt


The Greek, goddess of health, Hygieia, looks defiantly out of the canvas and a snake wraps around her arm. Naked figures moan and writhe as if in pain.

What was the reaction? Shout, moan, and scariest: endless committee meetings. A constant war broke out in the press. The commission held a formal meeting and the pictures were the subject of discussion in parliament.

Gustav Klimt tried to stay out of these conflicts. Finally, in 1904, he applied to the Art Commission and stated that he wanted to withdraw from his contract. But in public perception, Klimt was now a bored radical trying to conform to public pleasure.



Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I

Such a reputation was not necessarily a bad thing at all. Wealthy members of the intelligentsia (mostly Jewish collectors, who were not as attached to the status quo as their Christian neighbors) embraced Klimt and invited the painter to paint portraits of their wives.

It did not seem to bother them that the figures in the paintings did not look like their wives.


Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, 1907 by Gustav Klimt


A pale woman with black hair and flushed cheeks. She looks at us in an almost impossible way to decipher the expression on her face (Boredom or seduction?).

The rest of the work is a cascade of gold and icons, as Klimt developed a passion for gold paint and applied it to his canvases profusely.



The Kiss

Women were undoubtedly the favorite subjects of Gustav Klimt.

When men enter their paintings, their faces are often covered or hidden.

In his most famous work, The Kiss, a man leans over a woman, pressing his lips against her cheek, while her face is turned away from the viewer. There is a woman whose head is tilted at an unusual right angle.


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The Kiss, 1908 by Gustav Klimt


The woman seems to have forgotten all the bustle of life in the man’s arms and gave herself completely to the man. They both wear golden clothing on their backs and are on their knees on a floral-lined floor.

Gustav Klimt’s paintings have been widely criticized. In particular, feminist art historians have criticized Gustav Klimt’s portraits of women as ‘passive objects of male desire.’

They state that the man in The Kiss subdued the woman who had hugged her tightly for support.

Beginning in 1910, Klimt’s style has evolved, moving away from this overly ornate approach.



World War I and the Death of Gustav Klimt

The second portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, made in 1912, has no exaggerated gold paint; color is more important, Adele in white is placed in front of blue, green, and pink blocks. Unfortunately, Klimt did not have much time to develop this new style. The outbreak of World War I restricted his artistic performance. On January 11, 1918, the painter suffered a stroke. He was taken to the hospital, partially paralyzed, where he developed pneumonia and died on February 6, 1918.


Adele Bloch-Bauer II, 1912 by Gustav Klimt


In the years immediately after his death, Klimt’s art continued to influence the art nouveau movement. But the modernist backlash against ornamentation soon surpassed Klimt.

It remained on the shores of popular art, and it was only when Portrait of Adele BIoch-Bauer I was sold in 2006 that the name Klimt cost the whole world and was adopted.

If a painting is sold for $ 135 million, it will attract attention.

Not all art experts were satisfied. They thought the painting was worth more than the enormous amount paid by some.

Gustav Klimt has allegedly gone through many adventures and is rumored to have fathered three, fourteen, twenty, or forty illegitimate children, but Gustav Klimt never married.

The longest and closest relationship with a woman may not even have been sexual.



“I was going to take the first train home.”

Gustav Klimt did not like traveling outside Austria and avoided as much as possible.

Carl Moll, a friend of hers, described a trip to Italy that almost ended before it began. Moll had arranged for his friends to accompany Klimt to the station in Vienna and put him on the right train, and he promised to welcome him to Florence when he got off the train.

The train arrived and Moll waited at the outer barrier as the passengers flocked to the ground, but Klimt was gone. He started searching for the station, eventually found Klimt sitting alone in a waiting room with his suitcase. When asked what to do if Moll can’t find it, Klimt said:

“I was going to take the first train home.”


Extraordinary examples of art! Would you like to meet Artificial Intelligence Artists?




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