Klimt Paintings

who was gustav klimt?

Klimt was a famous artists of the 20th century known for his decorative style of painting. He produced numerous paintings with central themes of eroticism and women.

early life

Klimt’s family experienced financial hardships and moved home often. Additionally, Klimt lost one of his sisters, Anna, in 1874 to an illness. His two brothers, Georg and Ernst, were also artists.


At age 14, he took the entrance examination to the Viennese School of Arts and Crafts, which he passed. Klimt studied other artists like Venetian Renaissance Titian and the Flemish Baroque Peter Paul Rubens.


There was a turning point in Klimt’s artistic style when he lost both his father and brother in 1892. The deaths deeply affected Klimt and inevitably his artistic style, which became more symbolic in nature.


Eventually, Klimt left the Vienna Artists’ Association. As a result, Klimt and a few other artists started a new organization called the Vienna Secession.


The “Golden Phase” refers to a period of Klimt’s later art style where he utilized gold leaf in his artworks. It is believed he was inspired by the artworks he saw from his travels to Ravenna and Venice in Italy.


His painterly process was also believed to be lengthy as he enjoyed taking his time with his subject matter. Most of his subjects were women, and he was more interested in panting others than himself.


There are apparently over 170 Gustav Klimt sketches that have been organized by the Albertina Museum located in Vienna. The musuem has a catalog consisting of around 3900 Gustav Klimt artworks.

the kiss

The Kiss painting is part of Klimt’s Golden Phase and has been known as a good example of Art nouveau. What we see at first glance is a golden cocoon with two figures wrapped inside.

portrait of adele bloch bauer i

It depicts his model, Adele Bloch-Bauer, in a sitting position, but she almost becomes one with her golden surroundings. We are also unsure of the chair she sits on.

always golden

Klimt’s style has been known as risky. He subverted many academic and traditional styles and created a wholly new look with the female as the central force.