Austrian artist Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) was a controversial figure of the Vienna Secession movement, standing for tradition on the one hand and an often-radical portrayal of the female on the other. Known the world over for his luminous and evocative style, Klimt’s paintings and murals continue to fascinate and entice.
Klimt was one of the founding members of the group of artists known as the Vienna Secession, whose goal was to provide exhibitions for younger avant-garde artists. By the time Klimt joined the Secession he was already a recognized artist. He had been hired to paint the ceiling of the Great Hall at the University of Vienna; the outcome of which were three paintings, Philosophy, Medicine, and Jurisprudence that were considered “pornographic” at the time. Overtly erotic figure painting continued to be the main focus for Klimt, much of which is now renowned works of art. Some of his recognized works include Adele and The Kiss, the latter being one of Klimt’s most famous works. The painting shows a couple intimately embracing, surrounded by gold leaf motifs reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts as well as the Art Nouveau movements. Another work, The Woman in Gold, which was recently the topic of a feature film, is a glowing work also made by using the gold leaf technique that Klimt came to favor; the work titillates the viewer with its opulence and warm, sexual luster.
TASCHEN’s Klimt books reveal the complete catalogue of Klimt’s artwork, including his paintings, prints, and famous murals. Included are specially commissioned photographs of The Tree of Life, a part of the famed Stoclet Frieze—a series of three mosaics installed at the Palais Stoclet in Brussels, Belgium. No other books offer such beautifully detailed images of the work of Klimt. And no other books reveal the artist’s life with such wonderful biographical essays that investigate the importance of one of Austria’s most celebrated artists.