Gustav Klimt - Enigma
There are many sides to Gustav Klimt: Revolutionary and herald of the modern age, darling of upper-class Viennese bourgeois women, enfant terrible for the conservative-moderate middle class, overrated decorative painter and pornographer, today amongst the most expensive painters of all time. He is considered one of the most important painters of the Art Nouveau.
Gustav Klimt is most famous for his opulent portraits of women. As co-founder of the Vienna Secession, he helped revolutionize art history. Opposing the historicism of contemporary art, he employed a frivolous sensuality that many of his contemporaries found highly uncomfortable. At the dawn of the twentieth century, Vienna, more than any other European city, embodied the spirit of a cozy society in which art was to be innocent and adapted to the prevailing conditions of the imperial age. Like a number of other well-known artists that did not conform, Klimt's art was subjected to scorn and hostility and it took almost half a century after his death for his greatness to be finally recognized in France and Germany. His themes reflect the great existential questions of life and death, joy, fear and birth. And he repeatedly returns to an exploration of the myth of woman in his ornamental works.