Klimt was born in Austria in 1862, the son of a goldsmith. The influence of his father's trade is evident in his work. He, himself, even referred to his "golden style" of painting, and while he rarely use the precious metal itself on his canvases, in many of his best work there is a metallic, golden elegance and detail that gives it the delicate sparkle of fine jewelry. The other element ever-present in Klimt's work is a romantic, barely cloaked eroticism in his portraits and figures. His work is stylish and stylized. It is awash with Art Nouveau motifs that further enhance the delicate elegance of its refined, sensuality. Painting almost exclusively female figures, with an occasional male presence to heighten the romantic element, Klimt's paintings were the epitome of high fashion in the first decade of the twentieth century.
|The Kiss, 1907-08, Gustave Klimt|