Gustav Klimt in Gold

Gustav Klimt’s style is exquisite and his oeuvre needs no introduction.
However, there are some interesting and fascinating information about him you
might not know of. Today we are going to list the very best facts about this
outstanding Austrian artists. Austria seems to have quite creative, to say the
least, minds.

He was inspired by Japanese art

Indeed, the composition in his most typical works has strong resemblance
with Japanese traditional drawings and paintings, especially considering the
position of human body to the naturescapes and the usage of certain patterns combined
with figures.

He painted interior murals and ceilings

Together with his brother and a friend from university, Klimt organized a
group titled the “Company of artists”. Their campaign was a successful one, and
the group had a lot of offers to work on public murals. Klimt’s father was a
gold engraver, so as his brother.

At the beginning he was a traditional painter

Just as many faces in avant-garde Gustav Klimt was not experimenting
with artistic styles at first. The turning point of his career was a sad event –
the loss of his father and brother, that died in the short period of time one
after another.  Klimt was devastated and
turned his emotions and feelings towards the artistic pursuit of his own
individual style.

His paintings were called “Pornographic”

In 1894 Klimt was offered to create 3 paintings for the Great Hall of
the University of Vienna. Three works Philosophy,
Medicine, and Jurisprudence accomplished for this commission were highly criticized
as overly sexual and provocative (this description is actually relevant to his entire
oeuvre). Klimt’s paintings were not displayed in the Great Hall as a result of
a wide public anticipation. After this incident Gustav Klimt refused to take
any public commissions. Sadly, these works were destroyed by the Nazis in 1945.

He was a ladies’ man

Not only his art was quite open about sex and its erotic nature, but
Klimt himself was know to have numerous affairs with his models. He managed to
avoid scandals and preferred to lead quiet private life avoiding social events
and gatherings in the cafes, befriending only some of his colleagues.

Not only figurative painting

Although, most of his works dedicated to the opposite sex, Klimt painted
landscapes, which he always executed during his trips to the shore of Attersee
(lake in Austria). Landscapes carried on that signature golden leafs and Klimt’s
unique patterns. Besides nature and erotic works, Gustav Klimt created some
allegorical and symbolic paintings, works with mythical or biblical context,
and also some portraits.

Klimt’s works are among the most expensive paintings ever sold

Landhaus am Attersee was sold for
$29,128,060 in 2003. In 2006 the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I was purchased
for the incredible sum of $135 million, which made it into the most expensive
painting ever sold.

Legal battles and cinematography

With such commercial success comes a lot of ownership disputes. Maria
Altmann had a long battle with Austrian government for some of Klimt’s works
that belonged to her family and were stolen by the Nazis during the war. Her
struggle became a subject of the 2015 movie Woman
in Gold
as well as the documentary
Stealing Klimt.    

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