From the series The Great Artists Collection
Grade Range: 7th – 12th
Page Count: 64
Lexile Level: 1260L
In the latter part of the 19th century and the first two decades of the 20th century, Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) was a forerunner of the Art Nouveau movement in Vienna, Austria. This new movement brought forth one of the most decorative, leading European artists, and greatest exponent of erotic art that the world had ever seen. Klimt began his career as a highly renowned academic painter, but he was propelled toward modern trends in art, which saw a development of the erotic, fantastical and eclectic. This led Klimt to co-found the Vienna Secession of which he became the first president. At the start of his career, the Austrian artist was commissioned to paint a number of public buildings, producing friezes and murals. However, the development of his own style would lead him to scandal, and accusations that his works were distasteful and pornographic in their portrayal of his themes and motifs. Klimt was greatly influenced by Greek, Egyptian and Byzantine art (evidence of which is found in works of his Golden Period or Phase), and he borrowed a number of motifs from these mediums. Klimt is often described as a Symbolist painter while another renowned feature of his works is his treatment of the erotic and his fascination with the female form.
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