Saturday, March 24, 2012

Klimt, Gustav

The Black Feather Hat
oil on canvas
79 x 63 cm
Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome

Gustav Klimt (1862 - 1918) was an Austrian Symbolist painter and a co-founder of the school of painting known as the Vienna Sezession, a group of modernist architects and artists who organized their own exhibition society and gave rise to the Viennese version of Art Nouveau, embodying the high-keyed erotic, psychological, and aesthetic preoccupations of turn-of-the-century Vienna's dazzling intellectual world.

Klimt's style drew upon an enormous range of sources: classical Greek, Byzantine, Egyptian, and Minoan art; late-medieval painting and the woodcuts of Albrecht Dürer; photography and the symbolist art of Max Klinger; and the work of both Franz von Stuck and Fernand Khnopff. In synthesizing these diverse sources, Klimt's art achieved both individuality and extreme elegance.