Gustav Klimt was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1862. Klimt, alongside Otto Wagner and Josef Hoffman among others, is considered to be one of the operating powers behind the Austrian Art Nouveau movement, and was also one of the co-founders of the Vienna Secession who represented the style. His paintings, mainly portraits dominant females, were often considered erotic. Aside from his paintings, Klimt is also famous for his murals and sketches, and studied architectural painting at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts until 1883.
Klimt went through a number of phases with varying sources of inspiration. His early work during his time in the Vienna Secession was mainly inspired by symbolism, and was then followed by his “Gloden Phase”. During this phase he often used gold leaf and visited Venice and Ravenna, where he probably was inspired by the mosaics, an influence which can be seen in his famous painting “The Kiss”.
A painting that appeared to be Gustav Klimt's “Portrait of a Lady”, which disappeared 23 years ago, was found last December in an alcove of its museum. Now, the prosecutor has confirmed that it was indeed the masterpiece of the Austrian painter.
The year 1918 brought many changes to Austria: the First World War came to an end and with it many centuries of rule by the Habsburg monarchy. Vienna also had to say goodbye to four artists, who had up until then shaped the art scene of the metropolis.