The unfading popularity of Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) attests not only to the particular appeal of his luxuriant painting but also to the universal themes with which he worked: love, feminine beauty, ageing, and death.
The son of a goldsmith, Klimt created surfaces of ornate and jewel-like luminosity, which show the influence of both Egyptian and Japanese art. His work is defined by radiant colour, fluid lines, floral elements, and mosaic-like patterning through paintings, murals, and friezes.
With subjects ranging from sensuality and desire to anxiety and despair, all this iridescence is also imbued with feeling. Klimt’s numerous images of women, characterized by curvaceous forms, tender flesh, red lips, and flushed cheeks, were particularly charged with passion at a time when such frank eroticism was still taboo in Viennese upper-middle-class society.
This book presents a selection of Klimt’s work, introducing his pictorial world of decoration and desire and his influence on artists to come.
About the series
Born back in 1985, the Basic Art Series has evolved into the best-selling art book collection ever published. Each book in TASCHEN’s Basic Art series features:
a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering their cultural and historical importance
a concise biography
approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions