Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Gustav Klimt

His work The Kiss can usually be seen on the walls in every female freshman's dorm room in college. Gustav Klimt was an Austrian painter who was best known for his golden phase (1899-1910), which  is what garnered him the most success.  His paintings were influenced by Art Nouveau with his ornamental paterns and gold embelishment on top of piles of color.  His pieces are seductive, openly sexual, but at times also carry tragedy which is said to be inspired by the sudden death of his father and brother in 1892. His Adele Bloch-Bauer I portrait (the image directly above) was sold for 135 million dollars in 2007 making it the highest price ever paid for a painting beating out Picasso's 1905 Boy With a Pipe, which sold for 104 million dollars.
   One of the few quotes gather from his letters after he passed stated "I have never painted a self-portrait. I am less interested in myself as a subject for a painting than I am in other people, above all women...There is nothing special about me. I am a painter who paints day after day from morning to night...Whoever wants to know something about me... ought to look carefully at my pictures."