1862 - 1918
Though Gustav Klimt is closely associated with both the Art Nouveau and Symbolism movements, his style is very particular and recognisable, though the pieces most associated with his success tend to be part of his ‘Golden Phase’ from approximately 1900 to 1910. He was born into a large creative family in Austria, (Klimt had six siblings!), and he rarely ventured far from Vienna during his lifetime, which is somewhat surprising for an artist. Describing Klimt and his work as controversial is a bit of an understatement: his paintings frequently involve nude women and often evoke natures of hedonism and voyeurism.
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I 1907
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I is one of Klimt’s most well known pieces and one of the world’s most expensive paintings. I adore the way Klimt shows fabrics and patterns, with juxtapositions of clashing shapes and textures. This effect is found throughout his work, for example in The Three Ages of Women. However here, because of the absence of overwhelming gold, the separate sections of material and pattern become far more defined. The various stages of life is quite a common subject matter, though this is probably the most modern depiction I can think of. If anyone knows any since then that I have forgotten then please let me know!
The Three Ages of Woman 1905