The Canvas Art Factory specializes in reproductions of Klimt prints and paintings, as well as other works from the Vienna Secession period using the highest standard canvas printing methods.
Gustav Klimt was an Austrian symbolist painter. He was born in Baumgarten, a village not far from Vienna. He was the second child of seven. He created figurative works of art, with the female body as the primary subject matter. Like much of the Impressionists, Klimt was deeply influenced by Japanese art. In his early art career, he painted architectural decorations in a conservative way. As his style developed, so too did his subject matter, which focused on the female form. For the time, this work was borderline erotic and created a lot of controversies.
Klimt was making art at a time when Vienna was very conservative. At the time, the avant-garde movement was swiftly moving through the city, and included young artists and intellectuals. The Vienna Secessionists were a radical Avant Nouveau artistic group based in Austria in the early twentieth century. Klimt was a prominent member. He was interested in their intellectual rebellion against old forms. This led to daring depictions of women in art, which became increasingly expressive in the early 1900s.
Klimt’s painting prints stood out from much of the art that was emerging from Europe. He often depicted allegories in his artworks, and they were usually based around the subject of the female body, leading to many critics of his time to label his work as pornographic. He received such a smear in 1900 when he completed the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna.
From then on, Klimt rejected public commissions and began to focus on his own revolutionary paintings, which saw him going through the “Golden Period”, a term used to describe a series of his work that had elements of gold to it. The “Golden” paintings were inspired after he travelled to Ravenna, Italy in 1903, where he was exposed to Byzantine art.
The Kiss (1908)
The Kiss is a masterpiece from the early twentieth century, showing two lovers melting into one another in an embrace. It is one of the most recognized artworks around the world, known for its romance and golden effect. Flowers play an important role in the painting. The woman’s dress and hair are filled with flowers, symbolising femineity and maternity. The couple is also leaning in a field of colourful wildflowers.
The woman’s eyes are closed in a moment of intimacy, allowing the audience to take a peek. The Kiss boasts extravagance with gold leaves sprawling across the canvas. The gold cocoons the couple. It was painted during Klimt’s “Golden Period”. The Kiss may appear tame for a twenty-first-century audience, but it caused a lot of criticism in conservative Austria. Klimt’s painting was sold before he had completed it.
Allegory of Sculpture (1889)
Allegory of Sculpture is a watercolour painting from Gustav Klimt’s Art Nouveau period. The subject is a nude personification of sculpture. Depicted in a Hellenistic style, the allegorical figure is adorned with golden jewellery. In her left hand, balancing on a globe is a Victory goddess.
Many artists have been inspired by the sunflower, and so too did Gustav Klimt, who painted Sunflower in 1907. When you think of a sunflower painting, the first thought that comes to mind is Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh’s sunflowers. Although while van Gogh’s flowers are painted while they were in a vase, Gustav Klimt depicts the sunflower in the garden. It’s an ornamental painting, extremely elaborate in its detail and depiction. Klimt didn’t stop here with the sunflowers. Years later, he painted Farm Garden with Sunflowers (1913), and it is just as elaborate with its use of colour and detail.
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer (1907)
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer was a significant painting part of Klimt’s “Golden Period”. Like other paintings from this period, Bloch-Bauer is draped in gold, and it looks as though she’s sitting on a throne. It is an excellent example of an Art Nouveau painting. Klimt would paint Adele Bloch-Bauer twice. The second portrait, Adele Bloch-Bauer II was painted in 1912. But who was Bloch-Bauer? Born in 1881, the woman in gold was a patron of the arts, and with her husband, was an avid art collector. One of their favourite artists was Gustav Klimt. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer was commissioned by Bloch-Bauer’s devoted husband, Ferdinand.
Judith and the Head of Holofernes (1901)
In Judith and the Head of Holofernes, Gustav Klimt depicts a biblical story in extravagant gold leaf. Klimt painted the story in a unique way, leaving out the weapons and, instead, depicting Judith in a glittery dress, with Holofernes’ head just outside of the painting. With her eyes half-closed, he has captured Judith in rapture. The model also looks like Adele Bloch-Bauer, who modelled for Klimt in two paintings.
Klimt was an avid painter who left behind a series of murals, sketches, among other works of art. He suffered a stroke in January 1918, which left him partially paralysed. He became hospitalised and contracted pneumonia and died a month later. He left behind a legacy of artistic and intellectual feats.