|Birth Day:||July 14, 1862|
|Death Date:||Feb 6, 1918 (age 55)|
|Birth Place:||Vienna, Austria|
As per our current Database, Gustav Klimt died on Feb 6, 1918 (age 55).
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He attended the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, where he studied architectural painting. He graduated in 1883. He was profoundly influenced by Vienna's legendary history painter Hans Makart.
Klimt lived in poverty while attending the Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule, a school of applied arts and crafts, now the University of Applied Arts Vienna, where he studied architectural painting from 1876 until 1883. He revered Vienna's foremost history painter of the time, Hans Makart. Klimt readily accepted the principles of a conservative training; his early work may be classified as academic. In 1877 his brother, Ernst, who, like his father, would become an engraver, also enrolled in the school. The two brothers and their friend, Franz Matsch, began working together and by 1880 they had received numerous commissions as a team that they called the "Company of Artists". They also helped their teacher in painting murals in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Klimt began his professional career painting interior murals and ceilings in large public buildings on the Ringstraße, including a successful series of "Allegories and Emblems".
In 1888 Klimt received the Golden Order of Merit from Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria for his contributions to murals painted in the Burgtheater in Vienna. He also became an honorary member of the University of Munich and the University of Vienna. In 1892 Klimt's father and brother Ernst both died, and he had to assume financial responsibility for his father's and brother's families. The tragedies also affected his artistic vision and soon he would move towards a new personal style. Characteristic of his style at the end of the 19th century is the inclusion of Nuda Veritas (naked truth) as a symbolic figure in some of his works, including Ancient Greece and Egypt (1891), Pallas Athene (1898) and Nuda Veritas (1899). Historians believe that Klimt with the nuda veritas denounced both the policy of the Habsburgs and Austrian society, which ignored all political and social problems of that time. In the early 1890s Klimt met Austrian fashion designer Emilie Louise Flöge (a sibling of his sister-in-law) who was to be his companion until the end of his life. His painting, The Kiss (1907–08), is thought to be an image of them as lovers. He designed many costumes that she produced and modeled in his works.
In 1894, Klimt was commissioned to create three paintings to decorate the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna. Not completed until the turn of the century, his three paintings, Philosophy, Medicine, and Jurisprudence were criticized for their radical themes and material, and were called "pornographic". Klimt had transformed traditional allegory and symbolism into a new language that was more overtly sexual and hence more disturbing to some. The public outcry came from all quarters—political, aesthetic and religious. As a result, the paintings (seen in gallery below) were not displayed on the ceiling of the Great Hall. This would be the last public commission accepted by the artist.
Klimt became one of the founding members and president of the Wiener Sezession (Vienna Secession) in 1897 and of the group's periodical, Ver Sacrum ("Sacred Spring"). He remained with the Secession until 1908. The goals of the group were to provide exhibitions for unconventional young artists, to bring the works of the best foreign artists to Vienna, and to publish its own magazine to showcase the work of members. The group declared no manifesto and did not set out to encourage any particular style—Naturalists, Realists, and Symbolists all coexisted. The government supported their efforts and gave them a lease on public land to erect an exhibition hall. The group's symbol was Pallas Athena, the Greek goddess of just causes, wisdom, and the arts—of whom Klimt painted his radical version in 1898.
In 1901 Hermann Bahr wrote, in his Speech on Klimt: "Just as only a lover can reveal to a man what life means to him and develop its innermost significance, I feel the same about these paintings."
In 1902, Klimt finished the Beethoven Frieze for the Fourteenth Vienna Secessionist exhibition, which was intended to be a celebration of the composer and featured a monumental polychrome sculpture by Max Klinger. Intended for the exhibition only, the frieze was painted directly on the walls with light materials. After the exhibition the painting was preserved, although it was not displayed again until 1986. The face on the Beethoven portrait resembled the composer and Vienna Court Opera director Gustav Mahler.
Klimt traveled little, but trips to Venice and Ravenna, both famous for their beautiful mosaics, most likely inspired his gold technique and his Byzantine imagery. In 1904, he collaborated with other artists on the lavish Palais Stoclet, the home of a wealthy Belgian industrialist that was one of the grandest monuments of the Art Nouveau age. Klimt's contributions to the dining room, including both Fulfillment and Expectation, were some of his finest decorative works, and as he publicly stated, "probably the ultimate stage of my development of ornament."
1905, Klimt painted The Three Ages of Woman, depicting the cycle of life. He created a painted portrait of Margarete Wittgenstein, Ludwig Wittgenstein's sister, on the occasion of her marriage. Then, between 1907 and 1909, Klimt painted five canvases of society women wrapped in fur. His apparent love of costume is expressed in the many photographs of Flöge modeling clothing he had designed.
The monochrome collotypes as well as the halftone works were printed with a variety of colored inks ranging from sepia to blue and green. Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria was the first to purchase a folio set of Das Werk Gustav Klimts in 1908.
Many of the works contained in this volume depict erotic scenes of nude women, some of whom are masturbating alone or are coupled in sapphic embraces. When a number of the original drawings were exhibited to the public, at Gallerie Miethke in 1910 and the International Exhibition of Prints and Drawings in Vienna in 1913, they were met by critics and viewers who were hostile towards Klimt's contemporary perspective. There was an audience for Klimt's erotic drawings, however, and fifteen of his drawings were selected by Viennese poet Franz Blei for his translation of Hellenistic satirist Lucian's Dialogues of the Courteseans. The book, limited to 450 copies, provided Klimt the opportunity to show these more lurid depictions of women and avoided censorship thanks to an audience composed of a small group of (mostly male) affluent patrons.
In 1911 his painting Death and Life received first prize in the world exhibitions in Rome. In 1915 Anna, his mother, died. Klimt died three years later in Vienna on February 6, 1918, having suffered a stroke and pneumonia due to the worldwide influenza epidemic of that year. He was buried at the Hietzinger Cemetery in Hietzing, Vienna. Numerous paintings by him were left unfinished.
According to the writer Frank Whitford: "Klimt of course, is an important artist—he's a very popular artist—but in terms of the history of art, he's a very unimportant artist. Although he sums up so much in his work, about the society in which he found himself—in art historical terms his effect was negligible. So he's an artist really in a cul-de-sac." Klimt's work had a strong influence on the paintings of Egon Schiele, with whom he would collaborate to found the Kunsthalle (Hall of Art) in 1917, to try to keep local artists from going abroad. Artists who reinterpreted Klimt's work include Slovak artist Rudolf Fila.
Fünfundzwanzig Handzeichnungen ("Twenty-five Drawings") was released the year after Klimt's death. Many of the drawings in the collection were erotic in nature and just as polarizing as his painted works. Published in Vienna in 1919 by Gilhofer & Ranschburg, the edition of 500 features twenty-five monochrome and two-color collotype reproductions, nearly indistinguishable from the original works. While the set was released a year after Klimt's death, some art historians suspect he was involved with production planning due to the meticulous nature of the printing (Klimt had overseen the production of the plates for Das Werk Gustav Klimts, making sure each one was to his exact specifications, a level of quality carried through similarly in Fünfundzwanzig Handzeichnungen). The first ten editions also each contained an original Klimt drawing.
Composed in 1931 by editor Max Eisler and printed by the Austrian State Printing Office, Gustav Klimt An Aftermath was intended to complete the lifetime folio Das Werk Gustav Klimts. The folio contains thirty colored collotypes (fourteen of which are multicolored) and follows a similar format found in Das Werk Gustav Klimts, replacing the unique Klimt-designed signets with gold-debossed plate numbers. One hundred and fifty sets were produced in English, with twenty of them (Nos. I–XX) presented as a "gala edition" bound in gilt leather. The set contains detailed images from previously released works (Hygeia from the University Mural Medicine, 1901; a section of the third University Mural Jurisprudence, 1903), as well as the unfinished paintings (Adam and Eve, Bridal Progress).
All three paintings were destroyed when retreating German forces burned Schloss Immendorf in May 1945.
In 1963, the Albertina museum in Vienna began researching the drawings of Gustav Klimt. The research project Gustav Klimt. Die Zeichnungen, has since been associated with intensive exhibition and publication activities.
Between 1980 and 1984 Alice Strobl published the three-volume catalogue raisonné, which records and describes all drawings by Gustav Klimt known at the time in chronological order. An additional supplementary volume was published in 1989. In the following year Strobl transferred her work to the art historian and curator Marian Bisanz-Prakken, who had assisted her since 1975 in the determination and classification of the works and who continues the research project to this day. Since 1990, Marian Bisanz-Prakken has redefined, documented, and scientifically processed around 400 further drawings.
Klimt's paintings have brought some of the highest prices recorded for individual works of art. In November 2003, Klimt's Landhaus am Attersee sold for $29,128,000, but that sale was soon eclipsed by prices paid for Willem de Kooning's Woman III and later Klimt's own Adele Bloch-Bauer II, the latter of which sold for $150 million in 2016. More frequently than paintings, however, the artist's works on paper can be found on the art market. The art market database Artprice lists 67 auction entries for paintings, but 1564 for drawings and watercolors. The most expensive drawing sold so far was "Reclining Female Nude Facing Left", which was made between 1914 and 1915 and sold in London in 2008 for GB£505,250. However, the majority of the art trade traditionally takes place privately through galleries such as Wienerroither & Kohlbacher, which specialize in the trade with original works by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele and regularly present these at monographic exhibitions and international art fairs.
Gustav Klimt and his work have been the subjects of many collector coins and medals, such as the 100 Euro Painting Gold Coin, issued on November 5, 2003, by the Austrian Mint. The obverse depicts Klimt in his studio with two unfinished paintings on easels.
In 2006, the 1907 portrait, Adele Bloch-Bauer I, was purchased for the Neue Galerie New York by Ronald Lauder reportedly for US$135 million, surpassing Picasso's 1905 Boy With a Pipe (sold May 5, 2004 for $104 million), as the highest reported price ever paid for a painting up to that point.
On August 7, 2006, Christie's auction house announced it was handling the sale of the remaining four works by Klimt that were recovered by Maria Altmann and her co-heirs after their long legal battle against Austria (see Republic of Austria v. Altmann). Altmann's fight to regain her family's paintings has been the subject of a number of documentary films, including Adele's Wish. Her struggle also became the subject of the dramatic film the Woman in Gold, a movie inspired by Stealing Klimt, the documentary featuring Maria Altmann herself. The portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II was sold at auction in November 2006 for $88 million, the third-highest priced piece of art at auction at the time. The Apple Tree I (c. 1912) sold for $33 million, Birch Forest (1903) sold for $40.3 million, and Houses in Unterach on Lake Atter (1916) sold for $31 million. Collectively, the five restituted paintings netted more than $327 million.
National Public Radio reported on January 17, 2006 that "The Austrian National Gallery is being compelled by a national arbitration board to return five paintings by Gustav Klimt to a Los Angeles based woman, the heir of a Jewish family that had its art stolen by the Nazis. The paintings are estimated to be worth at least $150 million." This incident, involving Maria Altmann, was subsequently made into the Hollywood movie Woman in Gold, starring Helen Mirren.
The paintings were sold by auction house Christie's for $325 million in 2006.
The city of Vienna, Austria had many special exhibitions commemorating the 150th anniversary of Klimt's birth in 2012.
In 2012, the Austrian Mint began a five-coin gold series to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Klimt's birth. The first 50 Euro gold coin was issued on January 25, 2012 and featured a portrait of Klimt on the obverse and a portion of his painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer. Klimt was also mentioned in season 3 episode 5 of the Netflix original series Bojack Horseman.
In 2013, the Gustav Klimt Foundation was set up by Ursula Ucicky, widow of Klimt's illegitimate son Gustav Ucicky, with a mission to "preserve and disseminate Gustav Klimt's legacy." The managing director of the Leopold Museum, Peter Weinhäupl, was appointed as Chairman of the foundation. As a reaction, the museum's director Tobias G. Natter resigned in protest, citing Ucicky's past as a Nazi propaganda film-maker.
Currently, Gustav Klimt is 158 years, 11 months and 11 days old. Gustav Klimt will celebrate 159th birthday on a Wednesday 14th of July 2021.
Find out about Gustav Klimt birthday activities in timeline view here.