Gustav Klimt Death And LifePrimarily focusing his work on depicting the female body, Gustav Klimt filled his art with a unique style and honest eroticism that made his work and his style very popular among the Art Nouveau movement. His murals, mosaics, pencil drawings and portraits are among the most instantly recognizable pieces to have such open sexuality throughout. His bold use of color and almost textured backdrops make it easy to distinguish his work from most of the other artists working in his era. Klimt bares the distinction of producing the painting, Adele Bloch-Bauer, that has earned the highest purchase price of any other painting in history; taking that title from Picasso’s Boy With a Pipe. This is no real surprise considering Klimt’s work has consistently set records in terms of the price paid per individual piece.

When Gustav Klimt died of a stroke and pneumonia in 1918, several of his paintings were left behind unfinished. Before his death, he was considered one of the leaders in the Symbolist movement and was strongly dedicated to the art culture in his home country of Austria. In 1917, Klimt co-founded the Kunsthalle, or Hall of Art, with Egon Schiele, in an effort to keep local artists in the area as many Austrian artists sought recognition and employment abroad. Rudolph Fila, a renowned Slovak artist, was greatly inspired by Klimt’s work and has in turn reinterpreted several of Klimt’s pieces. Even the world of fashion has been influenced Gustav Klimt with designer John Galliano drawing inspiration from Klimt’s work for his Christian Dior Spring-Summer 2008 collection.

Gustav Klimt’s legacy extends beyond the worlds of art and fashion to many other creative mediums as well as pop culture. T-shirts emblazoned with Klimt’s style of work or, in some cases, reproductions of his most famous works were popular among devotees of Art Nouveau. There are also numerous collectable coins and medals, most notably the 2003 100 euro gold coin often called The Painting Coin, which have been inspired by or created as a tribute to Gustav Klimt.
Gustav Klimt The Kiss
Klimt’s work has also been written of in books, novels and screenplays. Klimt’s Judith, arguably one of Klimt’s most famous works, was written about extensively in I Have the Right to Destroy Myself by South Korean novelist Kim Young-ha. A character often spoken on in the book is primarily known to the reader as Judith, a nickname she is given due to her proposed strong resemblance to the legendary Klimt painting. Mocheta lui Klimt, or Klimt’s Carpet, a book of poetry by Sebastian Reichmann, a world famous Romanian poet, which was published in 2008, was named for a carpet that brought to mind Klimt’s work.

Klimt’s body of work is considered to be the perfect blend of figurative, non-figurative, sublime and tradition with his painting appealing to nearly any art enthusiast regardless of style preference. It is this unique style that has gained an adoring fan base in the Art Nouveau community even though his work remains accessible for even the novice art lover.

Gustav Klimt used gold leaf for his paintings in 1898. His first such art was Pallas Athene and Judith I. Klimt was also involved in developing the Palais Stolcet, the house of a wealthy Belgian businessman, which is one of the well known monuments of the Art Nouveau movement.

Gustav Klimt never painted a self-portrait because he said he was not interested in depicting himself. He was fascinated, almost obsessed, by the nature of the women figure. He was initially working in naturalistic styles. But later he took allegory and symbolism to a new level by introducing nudism. His portrayal of women (such as the famous Nuda Veritas) got him a controversial fame but he was never shy of delivering his style amidst all criticisms.

Death and Life is one of his most famous works which he drew after his mother’s death. Despite his several notorious affairs he was never involved in a scandal that could have tainted his reputation.

Adele Bloch-Bauer I, has the highest known price ever paid for a painting (US $135 million). Other known sales of Klimt's paintings are Birch Forest (US $40.3 million), Landhaus am Attersee (US $29.1 million), The Apple Tree I (US $ 33 million) and Houses in Unterach on Lake Atter (US $31 million).

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