In 1897, Gustav Klimt and several fellow Austrian artists founded the Vienna Secession to exhibit the works of young artists, publish an arts magazine, and bring the work of foreign artists to Vienna. Notable Vienna Secessionists include Max Klinger, Egon Schiele, Max Kurzweil, Oskar Kokoschka, and Richard Gerstl.
As the first president of the Vienna Secession, and likely its most well-known member, Gustav Klimt was a master Symbolist. His paintings stir immediate emotional reactions with renderings that are at once impressionist and detailed.
I have been a fan of Klimt’s since visiting European museums and becoming acquainted with the Vienna Secessionists. It was only recently, however, that I became aware of Klimt’s naturalist works. Just as beautiful, these paintings show the breadth and diversity of his abilities.
Klimt also produced a variety of sketches and portraits, each as breathtaking as his symbolist and naturalist works. Stay tuned next week for a look at another Vienna Secessionist, and one of my favourite artists, Egon Schiele.