Monday, November 23

The Sensual World of Klimt

Austrian Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt (1862 – 1918) overcame childhood poverty to significantly influence the Viennese Secession and Art Nouveau movement. Klimt’s elaborate, explicitly sensual works expressed themes of regeneration, love and death, and incorporated Egyptian, Classical Greek, Byzantine and Medieval styles. Klimt also utilized symbols representing art’s liberation from traditional culture. Laying the groundwork for Art Deco and Modernism, Klimt’s creative influence can still be seen in today’s art, decorations and jewelry.

"I have the gift of neither the spoken nor the written word, especially if I have to say something about myself or my work. Whoever wants to know something about me -as an artist, the only notable thing- ought to look carefully at my pictures and try and see in them what I am and what I want to do." - Gustav Klimt.

His major works include paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects, many of which are on display in the Vienna Secession gallery. Visit their website at Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism, this more apparent than in his numerous drawings in pencil. He used gold in his paints, technique he learned from his father, Ernst Klimt who was a gold engraver. Bellow there are some examples of his Golden phase.

Klimt obsession with the female body is shown all through his work, he would paint first the nude body of his muses and then add on the clothes. He would portrait the female in all her dimension as lover, mother, young, older, powerful and sensual. His own son, one of his 14 children, was included in his paintings.

"iKlimt - The Life and Work of Gustav Klimt" is a multimedia presentation dedicated to the Austrian painter, featuring an interactive timeline and a showcase of his most important work. There you can see a recompilation of his elaborated paintings and sensual drawings. Watch it at  

A great site to get your own reproduction is He also painted many florals and landscapes where his unique sensitive stroke can be admired.

1 comment:

  1. When I saw his art at the MOMA... I not only noticed his trace... but the closer you get... more surprises you find.... literally pictures... within the picture... endless dimensions.