Gustav Klimt was an Austrian Symbolist painter born in Baumgartner, Austria-Hungary on July 14, 1862. He was born in a family of seven children to the son of a gold engraver, which later influenced his paintings created in the “Golden Period.” I became drawn to Klimt when I viewed his most famous painting “The Kiss,” which reflected light through the sheen of gold leaf. I was fascinated by the different textures he created in his paintings and the rich sensation that was imbued by the novel techniques.
“The Kiss” is his best-known work, which was completed in 1907-1908. The painting is on a square canvas with oil paint and layers of gold leaf applied on top. "The Kiss" is a symbol of the Viennese Art Nouveau, which was a movement inspired by natural forms and curves. The painting is intriguing in that the female is not merely the object of affection, but she serves as the main focal point.
This painting titled "Death and Life" was completed in 1908 and won first place at the 1911 world exhibition in Rome. To the left, death is depicted as the stereotypical grim reaper, covered in a cloth of symbols. Life is symbolized on the right, with figures drawn from various phases of life. It is also covered with a robe of symbols, but the color scheme differs drastically from that of the left.
This drawing drastically differs from what Klimt is most known for, his magnetic golden paintings. It is titled "Fishblood" and was created in 1898 through the use of pencil, ink, and black and white chalk. This drawing illustrates exquisitely both structure and fluidity.
This sketch is from the series "Impurity" during the "Beethoven frieze." A common theme of this sketch and his other paintings is the subtlety of emotion that is conveyed.