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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Gustav Klimt

klimt photo with cat

"Art is a line around your thoughts.”
- Gustav Klimt


Gustav Klimt was born in Baumgarten, near Vienna in 1862. When he was 14, Klimt enrolled in the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts where he studied until 1883, and received training as an architectural painter.

In 1888, Klimt received the Golden order of Merit from Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria for his contributions to art. Sadly in 1892 both Klimt's father and brother Ernst died. In addition to becoming financially responsible for both families, the tragedies affected his artistic vision, and soon he would veer toward a new personal style. 

klimt garden
Klimt became one of the founding members and president of the Wiener Sezession (Vienna Secession) in 1897 until 1908. The group's goals were to provide exhibitions for unconventional young artists, to bring the best foreign artists works to Vienna, and to publish its own magazine to showcase members' work.

In 1894, Klimt was commissioned to create three paintings to decorate the ceiling of the Great Hall in the University of Vienna. Unfortunately all three paintings were destroyed by retreating SS forces in May 1945. 

Klimt did not travel much except to Venice and Ravenna, both famous for their beautiful mosaics, where he was likely inspired to pursue his gold technique and his Byzantine imagery.

 klimt painting

 

His 'Golden Phase' as it is known, due to the use of gold leaf, was received positively and marked with success. The works most popularly associated with this period are the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907) and The Kiss (1907 - 1908).

As he worked in his home, Klimt's simple life was somewhat cloistered, devoted to his art and family and little else except the Secessionist Movement, and he avoided café society and other artists socially. His painting method was very deliberate and painstaking at times and he required lengthy sittings by his subjects. 

 

klimt the kiss

 

In a rare writing called "Commentary on a non-existent self-portrait", he states "I have never painted a self-portrait. I am less interested in myself as a subject for a painting than I am in other people, above all women...There is nothing special about me. I am a painter who paints day after day from morning to night...Who ever wants to know something about me... ought to look carefully at my pictures."


Below are two of our Klimt-inspired notecard sets!

Gustav Klimt Notecard Box

His portraits of golden color stylizing mainly female figures and his patterns remain exquisite examples as an early proponent of Art Nouveau. Our handsome 2 piece full size, full color, box printed with subtle metallic accents contains 5 classic images.

  • 20 envelopes & 20 notecards
  • 5 each of 4 images
  • Sturdy & reusable box
  • Great for storage
  • Box measures 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 1 1/2 in.

klimt the kiss notecards

 

*NEW* Gardens by Gustav Klimt, QuickNotes

Klimt's use of pattern portraying the leaves and flowers in these landscapes show his interest in color and light, and flattening 3 dimensional scenes into flat design, likely influenced by van Gogh and the Impressionists of that time. Our handsome 2 piece full size, full color, box printed with subtle metallic accents contains 5 classic images.

  • 20/ full color, 4x5" notecards and envelopes
  • 5 cards each of 4 images
  • Packaged in a keepsake box with magnetic lid
  • Measures 4.5 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches

klimt notecards

View more of our Klimt collection of stationery here including a notebook and puzzle!


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