There are many sides to Gustav Klimt: Revolutionary and herald of the modern age, compulsive pornographer, darling of upper-class Viennese bourgeois women, enfant terrible for the conservative-moderate educated middle classes, overrated decorative painter and 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 mostly famous for his opulent portraits of women. As co-founder of the Vienna Secession, he helped to revolutionize art history. Opposing the historicism of contemporary art, he employed a frivolous sensuality that many of his colleagues found highly uncomfortable. More than any other European city, Vienna at that time 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 fellow artists, Klimt's art was subjected to typically Austrian 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.