|The art of Gustav Klimt is characterized by the spirit of the fin de
siècle of a feudal-bourgeois society, striving for the greater pleasures in life. This
included the lascivious and the erotic, which artists hoped to find in
that which was beautiful.
His fame was primarily built on his reputation as the greatest painter of erotic art towards the close of the 19th century, although he was also known as an excellent landscape painter.
Born on July 19th, 1862 in Baumgarten near Vienna, he enrolled at the School of Arts and Crafts, Fine Art and Industry in Vienna in 1876. Ten years later he began working on large murals for the Vienna Burgtheater. As a popular and much sought after Salon painter, he took over the leadership of the Viennese Secession, whose artists influenced the development of Art Nouveau. In the field of consumer design, Klimt also had a strong influence on the Viennese workshops, founded by Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser. His spacious style, in which figurative components combined with ornamental elements to produce cunning decorative-sensual effects, reached its peak in his widely admired erotic portraits of women. To the artist, the world appeared in a "feminine shape".