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Research Paper – Gustav Klimt
Duaa Mahmoud AbdelHakam
Art History II
Summer Semester 2017-2018
Mr.Neven Mihic

Gustav Klimt is one of the most famous decorative painters of the twentieth century. He is known as Vienna’s greatest Art Nouveau proponent. His work is characterized by an overwhelming utilize of symbolism, fancy gold leaf, and a sensuality nearly solely centered on women. Get to know a bit more around the man behind the showstoppers with these actualities:
Gustav Klimt was born on Baumgarten in Austrian. He has risen up in an environment characterized by poverty and simplicity, his father Ernst Klimt was worked in an unpretentious job and his mother Anna Klimt (Née Finster) was in deep love with music and art, probably he is genetically predisposed to the arts because of his mother interests. He was their second child in family consisted of seven.

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Some of his early portraits
Klimt was in a life-long relationship with a lady called Helene Louise Floge, and they have had fourteen children. He died on February 6, 1918, in Vienna at the age 55.

He was in normal school till he was 14 years old, then he gets a full scholarship to join the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, it was a school founded in 1867, it is the primary of its kind on the continent at this time, and then it turned out to be a high institution for arts. He received this award because of the prominence and distinction of his talent regardless of his financial circumstances. His brother was accepted in the same school two years later. In the school, Klimt got a preservationist, classical preparing that he promptly acknowledged but he mainly studied architecture painting there until 1833 and he lived in poverty while graduation.

Some of his drafting sketches
He was a persuasive painter and the originator of the Vienna Secession art movement development, Gustav Klimt ruled the artworks scene within the 19th century Austria.

Till nowadays, his works request tall regard and are broadly respected within the art circles. Klimt chose to go off the beaten track of customary and conventional academic art scholarly and adopted the modern drift in European advanced art. He follows the imagery of dreams, thoughts, and mindsets, which has gotten to be well known after that. He is known for his enriching painting, a way that most of his counterparts chose not to adopt.

Some paintings showing his obsession with women
He was the foremost eminent advocate of Art Nouveau, a class of art that was motivated by natural forms and structures. Was one of the foremost celebrated artists in 19century, Klimt’s artworks depictions depicted a woman in sensual and sexual tones, his paintings were typically in various states of undress or full nudity It was the presence of pornography and naked figures in his paintings that’s responsible for being most controversial artists at this period.
He was directed to many criticisms and negative comments, so he sometimes had to display his artistic works on some religious authorities before publishing them.

In the 1880s and 1890s, they chose Klimt to create a scenic mural for the Burgtheater and Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. He was authorized by Vienna University to make three more murals that would explain the majors of medicine, philosophy, and doctrine In1894.

The Medicine 1900–1907 The Philosophy 1899-1907
However, in spite of this dissatisfaction, Klimt’s victory was coming to its crest amid this time. Despiteof its dismissal in Vienna, his artwork “Medicine” was displayed at the Exposition Universal in Paris.

In the pursuit of artistic freedom and the creation of individual style, in 1897 Klimt and a group of artists set up an association called “Movement of the Secession” to promote international artworks and support for young people with outstanding talents, this movement was like a challenge to the Künstlerhaus’ traditionalist and conventional way.
The Beethoven Frieze

It was painted in 1902 to displays in14th Vienna Secessionist exhibition in lower floor in order to celebrate by melodist; characterized by a lot of decorated ornate polychrome sculpture by Max Klinger who was a German symbolist painter and statuary. It was a figurative frieze that was dedication compliment for Beethoven and carries the meaning of “searching for happiness”, where the frieze shows human desire to access happiness in the midst of a world of misery and evil expressed in a visual and linear manner, touching and exciting.

It starts delicately with the floating woman Genii looking for the Earth but suddenly she follows mysterious dim way and sinister-looking storm-wind monster. Above and right there are images showing sickness, insanity, death, lust, and immorality. Thereupon shows up the knight in the sparkling defensive shield, who offers hope due to his claim desire and empathy for the defense, people hardship. The journey finishes with the revelation of delight by implies of the expressions and contentment is appeared with cuddle a kiss.

Hence, the frieze clarifies human psychological longing, eventually fulfilled through the person and communal to seek beauty within art in solidarity with love, passion, and peace.

The extricate from the artwork highlights three figures: first a knight in shield speaking to “Armored Strength”, one lady within the foundation showing “Ambition” holding up a crown of triumphs and another one symbolizing “Sympathy” with head down and tied hands.

The Frieze was carried out directly on the walls of the exhibition with some light materials, which was kept even after the exhibition ended but was not displayed until 1986. It is huge, with seven feet high and 112 feet wide and weighing about four tons.
The Tree Of Life

It is a famous mural artwork for Klimt. It was finished in 1905 and it’s considered to be one of the most important paintings of him because of the meanings and symbols it carries. These murals also have other importance because it is the only scene that he painted during the golden period where he used the technique of oil painting with golden overlay, so it is a luxury painting that is distinguished from the rest of his work at that time.
The word and form ” Tree Of Life” is a symbol used in many theologies and legends, which refers to the relationship between three things which are earth, heaven and the underworld, Klimt highlight and represent this concept in that painting.
Klimt explains the idea of the life tree through his painting in a new and daring manner, giving a sign of “Continuity of life” The circle of life is constantly closed, as everything is born, grows, and then returns to its origin in the earth again. Through the creation of continuous whirlpools, those swirls and branches are working on the conversion, rotation, and rotation which produce strong and cohesive. As long and fragile threads is a symbol of the difficulty of life and the complexity of things. Those trees branches reach down the earth also the height of the sky, which indicates the link between them.
Other people say that this artwork symbolizes the unity between man’s most prominent ethics, which are strength, intelligence, beauty, and virtues. And they think that the extension of the tree to a high place like the sky is referred to people desire to get always the most, but their remains still rooted in the earth.
People who look to “tree of life” it will catch their eyes to the scene until they can understand the concept and reach the message contained between the beauty of its appearance and colors manufactured and its depth idea.

The Kiss

It has won the largest part of fame and spread among all the Klimt paintings till nowadays and his name is always associated with ‘The Kiss’.

Painted between 1907 and 1908, it is an oil painting in addition to gold and silver leaf, it has been published at the height of the ‘golden period’ of Klimt
The painting depicts a man and a woman embracing each other. Klimt is distinguished in this painting by a unique style. This shows his mastery in drawing their bodies with elegant and high aesthetic style. The painting combines the style of modern art with the older style of painting because it also contains organic and natural forms.

Gustav Klimt portrays the couple bolted in a romantic scene with a golden background. The two figures are arranged at the edge of a spot with flowers that closes beneath the woman’s uncovered feet. The male wears a wrapper printed with geometric shapes and inconspicuous spins. He wears a tiara of vines in another hand the female wears a tiara of blossoms, she is dressed up with a spilling dress with botanical plans, with closed eyes, and one arm which wrapped around his neck, another arm is resting gently on his hand, and her face is overthrow to take the man’s kiss.
Klimt has painted “The Kiss” after his series which was three parts it’s known as “Vienna Ceiling” which was controversial and criticized by many people and described his paintings as pornography and deviation. But despite this, “The Kiss” was accepted with enthusiasm and admiration, and it was purchased although it is not over yet and finally the Austrian government introduced it in the public exhibition.

Finally, after this interesting tour on Gustav Klimt’s life and work we can say that he is an artist of value; his talent is different, individual and elegant with special style. This is something that anyone can approve, even if he was against his way of thinking or his look at what he offers in his paintings. On the other hand, I think that the provoked controversy about any work is a strong evidence of its success and the ability to reach people’s mind or passion, regardless of accepting it or not.
Klimt was the beginning of a new movement in modern art and starting point to unleash the freedom of art. In my point of view, after wandering between his paintings I see that he holds a different and prominent technical significance which makes you able to know his artwork because of his different touch, especially what was painted in his golden period.

In the end, in light of this, we can conclude this research with one of Klimt’s sentences: “If you cannot please everyone with your deeds and your art, please a few”.
1) Key Words:
Gold Leaf
Vienna Secession
Naked Figures
Modern Art
Art Nouveau
2) Resources:
1V. Charles and Klaus Carl, The Viennese Secession. Parkstone International, 2014.

2P. Bade, Gustav Klimt. New York: Parkstone International, 2004.

 3G. Klimt, Gustav Klimt. New York: The Gallery, 1959.

 4R. Zeller, The figurative artist’s handbook. .

 5E. Gombrich, The story of art. .

6″Famous Biographies & TV Shows”, Biography, 2018. Online. Available: https://www.biography.com. Accessed: 07- Jul- 2018.

7″History Lists”, Historylists.org, 2018. Online. Available: http://historylists.org. Accessed: 07- Jul- 2018.

8C. Trip, “Local Inspiration From Around The World | Culture Trip”, Culture Trip, 2018. Online. Available: https://theculturetrip.com/. Accessed: 07- Jul- 2018.

9″Gustav Klimt: 100 Famous Paintings Analysis, Complete Artworks & Bio”, https://www.jackson-pollock.org, 2018. Online. Available: https://www.bing.com/cr?IG=71BAE4CAD61A420993B7E8FC6B2E8ACF&CID=1865BC5CAE8A610F30BDB079AF776062&rd=1&h=sDuZtvONB8YpklB2YDHIhXQapCyeY_arNfm75HINeNg&v=1&r=https%3a%2f%2fwww.gustav-klimt.com%2f&p=DevEx.LB.1,5537.1. Accessed: 07- Jul- 2018.

10″WikiArt.org – Visual Art Encyclopedia”, www.wikiart.org, 2018. Online. Available: https://www.wikiart.org/. Accessed: 07- Jul- 2018.

11″Gustav Klimt Museum – Gustav Klimt Paintings, Gustav Klimt Drawings”, 2018. Online. Available: http://www.klimt.com. Accessed: 07- Jul- 2018.

12″Study.com | Take Online Courses. Earn College Credit. Research Schools, Degrees & Careers”, Study.com, 2018. Online. Available: https://study.com/. Accessed: 07- Jul- 2018.


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