An artist in a family of artists, Gustav Klimt was the second of seven children born to his musician mother and engraver father. When he was young, both Gustav, and his brother Ernst Klimt attended the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts; Ernst went on to become an engraver like their father, and Gustav began his career as an architectural and mural painter, decorating the walls and ceilings of many public buildings. It may seem strange, considering what we know of his works today, but in the beginning, unlike many of his contemporaries, Klimt readily accepted the conservative paradigm of the then-current technique, and applied it so well in his public commissions that he received the Golden Order of Merit from the Emperor of Austria for his contributions to art.
This began to change several years after that award, when his father and brother Ernst died. His work grew more abstract and symbolic, and more overtly erotic, eventually becoming the lushly decadent gold and brilliantly-coloured abstractions and portraiture that he is famous for. Throughout his life, Klimt drew inspiration from his lifelong companion, Emilie Flöge, herself a prominent and talented designer, fashion designer, and businesswoman.
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|Gustav Klimt||Henri Matisse||Joan Miro|
|Pablo Picasso||Vincent Van Gogh||Wassily Kandinsky|