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APRIL 23, 2012 1:47PM

Gustav Klimt´s 150th Birthday Anniversary, Vienna

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Gustav Klimt is one of my most favorite painters. In fact, I could say that when I first discovered him, it was around the time when I first felt like an independent, continental, adventurer. I was head over heels in love with someone who has remained a life long friend, and the combination of all the beauty of Europe, it's history, art and my emotion, well you know, it was a perfect storm...

Klimt is important to me. He was expressive. Like myself, he did large murals and expressive paintings on many sizes of canvas, he combined some realities, with his decorative expressionism. He really put the glitz and glamour of life back into his portraiture and ventured into a place where it was all about the enduring beauty of love, often the female body and nature.

There are times in your life when you have the opportunity to see something for the first time, in its natural state. Not as a picture in an art history book or a rendition by another artist, but the authentic piece. When I was 20, this painting, The Kiss, smacked me upside the head in the Belvedere Palace in Vienna. I loved it and appreciated the enormity of it.  I had been originally trained in design so I liked the way design and abstract ornamentation overtook the realistic faces and brought more emotion than reality to the picture. I liked that; it is sometimes exactly how I think and experience things. I was intrigued and interested in who this artist was. I knew when I came back to the states that he would soon be very popular there. It was not long after I had discovered him, that people in the US discovered him too.

This man's work had been around for many years, Klimt having died in 1918, at age 55. I think it was how cultural experiences opened up in our nation, the U.S. that caused him to be popular. He was very free, liberated. His work conveys on many levels a frank eroticism, especially his drawings.

Years later, as a mother, I taught about artists in the elementary school. I introduced various artists and their styles to children throught stories, pictures and activities. I did teach about Klimt, but there were aspects of his art that were not appropriate to introduce to small children, however, he was a very brilliant personality and painter and his work, overall is witness to that brilliance. I brought the children a poster to share of the Mada Primavesi painting, among other landscapes and flower works of his. There was an investigation into what I was doing because one of the women, also familiar with Klimt was alarmed at what I would be sharing regarding his work. I had many voluteers when I was head of this program who would teach off my materials so that every student had the opportunity to learn. I would select the artists, compile the lessons, activities and props and teach the volunteers, as well as teach my own groups of students. It was a huge undertaking. In the end, all was well. The woman who complained was soothed, and honestly in turn appreciated the depth with which the children would be acquainted with Klimt without his "adult" themes. 


Mada Primavesi - Gustav Klimt





Österreichische Galerie Belvedere


 The current  location of "The Kiss".


"To the Age its Art – to Art, its Freedom." This is inscribed above the portal of the Secession, one of the most famous art nouveau buildings dating from around 1900. Inspired by this motto, eminent painters, architects and designers created fascinating art which is admired all over the world to this day. This is the era and the historical sites where Klimt and Schiele worked, and many other artists of the Secessionist movement.




Gustav Klimt

 Klimt spent most of his life in Vienna. His best-known painting "The Kiss" can now be seen at the Vienna Belvedere. And this particular Kiss changed the world. The picture and Gustav Klimt stand for the Modern era, an epoch that was trendsetting.

Klimt revolutionized the art of painting. His pictures decorated with gold ornaments are amongst the most expensive in the world today. His extraordinary portraits of women document the rise of the middle classes. Artistically, Klimt's work reflects the journey from the "Ringstrasse era" to the beginnings of abstraction. His works generated a lot of criticism in Austria; abroad, the artist won numerous prizes. Klimt died in Vienna from a stroke in 1918. His works continue to fascinate to this day. A Kiss changes the world....


 The Kiss - Gustav Klimt



 Adele Bauer Bloch


Judith - Gustav Klimt

 Nine of Vienna's most important art dealers have teamed up to celebrate the 150th birthday of Gustav Klimt. The aim is to shed light not only on Klimt's works, but also on his cultural political significance and his influence on the production of art in the Viennese modern era. The Vienna Secession as an institution for visual art stands together with the Wiener Werkstätte for an epoch whose international importance was considerable and which is described to this day as a "Golden Age".





 Many of you may have read  pieces I had done on Klimts works before. They are no longer on OS, however, I do plan on releasing them in a collection in the future. This post is still available on OS, and it also contains information about Klimt.


 Images from Wikipedia unless otherwise noted.


Dear Sheila,

it´s now or never:

Vienna is celebrating Klimt´s 150th birthday with a huge variety of exhibitions (some of his works have never been shown in public).

Have a look at the following collection of links:

Including this video:



klimt yourself 

 Me, Klimting myself! You can do it too!

klimt 2 

 Check out the email links in this post for the event and you will find the "Klimt Yourself" application.

 Another new link:

Copyright 2012 words and pictures by SheilaTGTG55 

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Type your comment below:
Happy Birthday Gustav!!!! Enjoy!
His exact birthday, July 14, 1862. We will have to have a cake....
Ratie first! He has some off my favorite paintings, too. Especially "The Kiss". No more needs to be said than that painting. Cheers, Sheila and Happy Birthday to Gustav.
I understand the fascination, but have mixed feelings about Klimt, mostly because he is so decorative, and I don't see much depth in the figures themselves, but I like to suffer.
Happy Birthday, Gustav! Oh, you are a lass after my own heart, Sheila. I adore Klimt's work.
Zuma: You are so right, the paintings speak for themselves, especially the Kiss...

toritto: Sounds like a plan to me!

Ben: I am so smiling ear to ear...
Erica: I love his work, he was just so in love with the female figure too, and wow, could he communicate that. I have a pair of those ICON water serpent shoes, and a mother and child handbag. I treat them like treasures...
Judith is my favorite.

Now...I hesitate to place here my favorite quote abt Klimt. It's from Rodney Dangerfield's sensitive, meaningful, poignant film, "Back to School". If you say I may share it, I will.
I have always admired Klimt but didn't know much about him. Thank you!
Jon: HAHAHAHAHAH! I had never seen that!
Miguela: His work is really an echo of a free spirited, decadent, ornate kind of existence.
So...Sheila....want the quotation?
MMM, beauteous, "Hope" and "Mother" "Danae" favorites..thanks for this.
Jon: Go for it.

Rita: Yes, all too beautiful...
I too love Klimt, and was lucky enough also to visit the Belvedere and get my fill, for the first time, in 1997. The Neue Gallery in NYC is also having a retrospective. I do hope you'll collect/compile all your writings on him!
In BACK TO SCHOOL, Rodney's a down-to-earth guy who's made it in busuness and marries up and cannot stand his wife and she can't bear him. He cannot bear her hoity-toity friends, either.

At a party, she's leading a snobbish man, who's eyeing her all along, through her art gallery.

He turns to Rodney, "Why, I just adore you're wife's Klimt."

Rodney (who has never had an interest in his w's paintings) says: "Yeah. You and every other guy in town!"
dirndl: Yes, I have not been to the Neues Gallery in New York. That would be a fun trip. Might be time for a return trip to New York.
Sheila,the you Klimting yourself a great work.Excellent tribute this one to indeed a great ρainter!!! regards!!
Stathi: One was done with a recent picture and other, the last, done from a picture that was from the early 1980's. I first saw Klimt's work in 1976.
Hey, thanks for this. I love Gustav Klimt too and now thanks to you, I can Klimt myself!
Scarlett: I though everyone would enjoy doing it!!
Oh my gosh. I've always loved, loved, loved his style. Thanks for sharing this!! Rated.
My sister and I were in Vienna six years ago in early December. The first night there we went to the Leopold and saw some magnificent paintings by Schiele--"Death and Life" (I believe) was the perfect lead-in to Klimt's work at the Belvedere. I studied art history A LOT in college, and had considered Klimt okay but mainly decorative. "The Kiss" is the finest example I've experienced of the truism that art must be seen in person to be fully appreciated. I've probably said this somewhere on OS before, but when Anita and I walked into that room and were confronted by that extremely large and elaborate painting, I found it difficult to breathe. I remember swaying unsteadily, confounded by the passion and unimaginable beauty. If we'd been less inhibited, my sister and I would have grabbed each other, fallen to the floor, and lay there panting, just watching the painting be alive. I'll never forget the emotion of it.

Every time we went by the Secession building, it was closed. Grrrr. Cause for another trip. What a splendid city.

Thanks for the memories. Now I'm off to Klimt myself!
Good Daughter: Ah, you understand!
I have a print of "Judith" (which I can now call "Sheila") in my dressing room area. Love Klimt, and the art of that era.
Lea: Thank you, I am complimented. I love Klimt too!!
Deborah: Thank you! He is awesome.
A very worthy tribute, Sheila. Thanks.
Thank you, Sheila, for such a beautiful and informative article, I learned and enjoyed much. Love the "Kiss." R
Kim: Thanks for your visit!

Thoth: He was a remarkable artist that still has so much impact. Thanks for visiting.
Delighted this is a Cover!
Jon: Thank you, oddly, I do not see it actually on the cover. Yesterday when I first saw the heading on my post or today. Kind of confusing and disappointing.
...mine is "The Kiss"

Heidi: Thanks for reading!
Sheila EPs on the cover are often delayed.
This is as great a piece as I have seen here.
Jon: Thank you for your reassurance. I hope you are correct.
:) I am listening to your speech right now.
It is such a thrill to see art that you have admired for years and finally get to see the original up close and personal! Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm for Klimt here.
Anne: Thanks for reading. Art is such an important part of life.
I've always liked his work, but never knew much about him. Thanks for the education.
jlsathre: He was quite an interesting character. He had about 14 illegitimate children with various models and so forth. He was extremely attached life long to Emilie Floge, a fashion designer. His paintings are beyond beautiful, ornamental pieces of emotion. His father was a goldsmith and I think this is why he sought to embellish things with gold and sparkle in a way no one else had done so before, his elements of design were very interesting and this all appeals.
Absolutely lovely, Sheila! I've always adored Klimt. Thanks for posting the fantastic images.

Alan: Thank you! I love these in particular.
Had to add--one of my favorite artists as well. Have you been to the Neue Galerie in Manhattan? They have loads of Klimt paintings.
Manhattan: On my to do list!!