Gustav Klimt facts: Top 7 facts about master of the golden brush

Gustav Klimt facts: Top 7 facts about master of the golden brush

1. Gustav Klimt biography begins in the artist’s family

Gustav Klimt facts: the artist was born to Ernest Klimt, an artist-engraver and jeweler from Bohemia, and Anna Fenster. The artist’s childhood was not easy due to the difficult economic situation in the country, but, nevertheless, he studied drawing with his father, and then entered the Vienna art and craft school at the Austrian Museum of art and industry (1876), where he specialized in architectural painting. At the same College and later did his younger brother Ernst.

Before reaching his twenties, He began working in collaboration with his brother and friend artist Franz Mach on murals in theaters in the Austro-Hungarian province. In 1885, they worked on the design of the Vienna “Burgtheater” (court theater) and the Art and history Museum, which earned them a reputation as masters of a very high level.

Gustav Klimt facts

2. Gustav Klimt philosophy caused a scandal

The university’s design became a landmark in Klimt’s creative biography. He created three monumental panels: Philosophy, Medicine and Jurisprudence, which caused a scandal that erupted around the artist and his work.  gustav klimt slike
Klimt chose his own path, different from the usual academism. Instead of depicting the triumph of science in a traditional manner, the master showed the respectable Viennese public the “real” face of each discipline:
“Philosophy” – a naked girl who leads people to nowhere (written in dark blue);
“Medicine” turns away heartlessly from the crowd of sick and dying, it looks more like a priestess who is ready to sacrifice a person, rather than cure him (executed in red, in which the image of death is interwoven with a blue train);
“Jurisprudence” in the person of three furies ruthlessly falls upon a human victim (for this panel the master chose a thick black color).

gustav klimt Philosophy

The panels caused a surge of negative criticism: a respected professor found them pornographic. It was in these works for the first time that eroticism inherent in the artist’s creativity was so clearly manifested.

3. He paints portraits of the wives of authoritative people of Vienna

Gustav Klimt Goldfish (the original version of the name – “For my critics”) was written in response to a sharp negative assessment of faculty paintings. The frank perspective of the red-haired beast in the foreground speaks for itself. gustav klimt elfen lied

gustav klimt Goldfish

Such courage and freedom of judgment required complete financial independence. And he found a way to support the prestigious people of Vienna. He began to paint portraits of their wives.
Now Klimt did not care about public opinion or fashion. He could afford to write. Having become the leader of the Vienna Secession, the artist began to boldly experiment.

4. Emilie Flöge 27 years together, but never married

Gustav Klimt facts: Gustav and Emilia never married, although throughout their lives they remained close. Emilia simply did not exist. When she realized that she wants to be sure that the time of the professional – psychoanalyst – Sigmund Freud. She came to the advice when she came to taste the bourgeois public. The young woman became independent, financially secure and was able to “recover” from a pathological love for the maestro. But they became even more calm, friendly. The artist called Emilia the best friend. Sometimes they appeared together at social events.

gustav klimt facts

Gustav Klimt portrait of Emilie Flöge

Klimt chose a narrow vertical format and portrayed Emilia in full growth. The heroine’s posture also conveys decisiveness and confidence: the left hand rests on the thigh, the head is proudly raised, the open look is directed at the viewer. The artist “dressed” the girl in a dress unusual for that time, invented by him: the forest and the field seemed to weave a carpet and wrap a slender figure with their ornamental train.

Emilie Flöge
The public perceived this portrait as a challenge. At that time, dresses with numerous ruffles and ruffles were in fashion, but here it is! Even the artist’s mother expressed dissatisfaction with the too deep neckline, which, in her opinion, went beyond decency.

Klimt and Flöge have been together for 27 years. Despite the many women, in the most difficult moments of the master’s life (the death of his father, brother, mother), only Emilia was nearby. She was with him to the end.

5. Maria Altman sold Golden Adele for a record $ 135 million.

Austria lost its “business card” in 2006. The heiress (daughter of the brother of Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer) Maria Altman sold the Golden Adele to Ronald Lauder for a record 135 million dollars. However, this was preceded by a lengthy seven-year lawsuit to return to her family values ​​(including the Bloch-Bauer portrait) lost during the war.

Bloch-Bauer portrait

The Austrian government tried to save the national treasure: negotiations were held with banks on a loan of money to buy paintings from Altman, the population collected donations. However, all efforts were in vain: the amount of 300 million dollars (that’s how much five paintings by Klimt were valued) turned out to be too large.

This caused a real “artistic” disaster in Klimt’s homeland. It is difficult to imagine the Belvedere without the Golden Adele, because it is a reproduction of this painting that adorns the covers of all Austrian travel guides. Herbert Frody (director of the gallery) called the incident “an immeasurable loss for the museum collection and for the cultural space of Austria as a whole.” Millions of Austrians lost their icon. Now the canvas is in the New Gallery in New York (its owner is an American businessman Ronald Lauder).

6. Gustav Klimt sketches were very professional

Gustav Klimt facts: Gustav Klimt was an outstanding draftsman. Before starting to create a picture, he did many sketches.

Gustav Klimt facts
Many of Klimt’s drawings are independent works of art that reveal the secrets of the artist’s creative manner and his vision of the world. In the paintings, the unbridled sexuality of the models is partially hidden by bright decorative clothes and background ornaments. But the drawings reveal a completely different Klimt.

Some graphic works are incredibly realistic. Among them is “Naked II”: with amazing accuracy, using only black chalk and a white pencil, the master depicts a naked female nature.

Gustav Klimt facts

7. Gustav Klimt influence on eroticism in art

Gustav Klimt quotes: “All erotic is art”
“My self-portraits do not exist. I am not interested in my own personality as an object for the image. I prefer other people, especially women, and, moreover, other forms of existence … ”

water lilies

A separate part of the heritage left by the master is frankly erotic works (some of them critics consider Klimt‘s best works). In them, he shows a woman in the most intimate moments: at the peak of the highest pleasure, at the moment of unrestrained passion or a restful sleep after lovemaking (these include, for example, “Lying on my stomach”, “Lying naked”, as well as a preparatory sketch for “Danae “).

The artist admires and admires them, shares his emotions with the audience. The women in his drawings are sexually liberated and unusually hypersensitive.

gustav klimt facts

Gustav Klimt facts: The ingenious artist of art nouveau style was recognized as innovative during his lifetime: in 1917, shortly before his death, he became an honorary member of the Vienna and Munich Academy of Fine Arts. Klimt was considered “Freud of painting”, “master of the golden brush”, undoubtedly a talented, original, bright and bewitching artist of his time, whose art did not fade over time, like gold on his canvases.

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