Google commemorates Austrian artist Gustav Klimt with a doodle of the artist’s “The Kiss,” integrated into the logo in gold…a characteristic Klimt style.
Klimt is one of the most celebrated art nouveau painters in Austria today with works that can be seen in many historical buildings in Vienna’s Ringstraße which includes the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Burgtheater and a lot more.
He became one of the founding members and president of the Wiener Sezession (Vienna Secession) in 1897 (below is the Secession building, which is characterized by a golden dome of laurel leaves). Klimt remained with the Secession until 1908. The group’s goals were to provide exhibitions for unconventional young artists, to bring the best foreign artists’ works to Vienna, and to publish its own magazine to showcase members’ work.
The Kiss is currently exhibited at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, a museum at the Belvedere Palace.
For his 150th Birthday today, 14 July, a center dedicated to him was opened in Kammer am Attersee. It is not a museum per se, but rather a documentation center…Future activities associated with the artist will be held there. The initiative “Klimt am Attersee” is in cooperation with the Leopold Museum in Vienna.
More about Klimt
Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent figures in the Vienna Secession movement. He is known for his distinctive and highly decorative style, characterized by intricate patterns, elaborate ornamentation, and sensuous, erotic themes. Klimt’s work is often associated with the Art Nouveau and Jugendstil movements, which were prevalent during his lifetime.
Here are some key aspects of Gustav Klimt’s life and art:
- Symbolism: Klimt’s early work was influenced by symbolism, and he often used symbolism to convey deeper psychological and emotional themes. His paintings frequently feature allegorical and mythological subjects.
- Portraiture: Klimt was a renowned portraitist and created some of his most famous works in this genre. His portraits are known for their exquisite attention to detail and their ability to capture the inner essence of his subjects. “The Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I” is one of his most famous portraits and is considered an icon of early 20th-century art.
- Golden Phase: One of the most distinctive periods in Klimt’s career is his “Golden Phase” (1904-1907), during which he used gold leaf extensively in his paintings. This period produced some of his most celebrated works, including “The Kiss” and “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I,” both of which are characterized by their opulent use of gold and intricate patterns.
- Vienna Secession: Klimt was a founding member of the Vienna Secession, a group of artists who rebelled against the conservative art establishment of Vienna. The Secessionists sought to break free from academic traditions and promote modern and innovative art. Klimt served as the group’s first president.
- Erotic Themes: Klimt’s art often explored eroticism and sensuality, which was controversial in the conservative society of his time. His depictions of the female form and his use of erotic symbolism are notable features of his work.
- Influence and Legacy: Gustav Klimt’s innovative and decorative style had a significant influence on the development of modern art, and his work continues to be celebrated and studied today. He left behind a rich body of work that includes paintings, murals, sketches, and drawings.
Tragically, Gustav Klimt’s life was cut short when he died of pneumonia in 1918 during the Spanish flu pandemic. Despite his relatively short career, he made a lasting impact on the art world, and his works remain highly sought after and continue to be exhibited in museums and galleries around the world.