Learn more about Austrian painter, Gustav Klimt in this free art lesson.
“Art is a line around your thoughts.” ~Gustav Klimt
Gustav Klimt (pronunciation) is one of the most influential artists of the early 20th century. His unique style combines elements of art nouveau, symbolism, and classical influences, and he is best known for his “gold phase” that incorporated gold leaf.
Early Life of Gustav Klimt
Gustav was born in Baumgarten, Austria (pronunciation), on July 14, 1862. His father, Ernst, was a gold engraver, and young Gustav showed an early interest in art. He enrolled at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts in 1876. After completing his studies, Klimt worked for several years as an architectural painter and decorator.
In the 1890s, Klimt began to develop his own distinctive style, characterized by rich colors and bold imagery. His work was widely criticized, but it was popular with Viennese high society, and he soon became one of the most well-paid artists of his time.
The Vienna Secession
In 1905, Klimt co-founded the Vienna Secession, an art movement that broke away from the traditional academic style. He was the group’s president from 1909 until 1918. During this period, Klimt created some of his most famous works, including “The Kiss” and “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer.”
Klimt’s work was marked by a change in style in the early 1910s. He began to use more geometric shapes and patterns, as well as gold leaf, in his paintings. This new approach is seen in works such as “Judith I” and “The Tree of Life.”
Klimt died in 1918 of a stroke, and his death coincided with the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Much of his work was destroyed by the Nazis during World War II, but some paintings have been recovered and are now on display in museums around the world.
For more project ideas, check out these Gustav Klimt-inspired art projects here:
Klimt Gold Patterns Collage by A Faithful Attempt
Gustav Klimt Art Projects by Deep Space Sparkle
Gustav Klimt 3D Trees by Teach Kids Art
Gustav Klimt’s Birch Forest Inspired Craft by The Pinterested Parent