Gustav Klimt

This Austrian Symbolist painter was a recognised representative of Vienna Art Nouveau. Born in Baumgarten, which is near the capital city, he spent his childhood in poverty along with his six siblings. From 1876, Klimt attended the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, and was trained to become an architectural decorator. He first found successful work as an engraver, along with his brother and a friend. Soon after that, he was asked to paint interior murals in public buildings on the famous Ringstrasse. Significantly, in 1888 Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria awarded the artist with the Golden Order of Merit. In the late 1890s, Gustav Klimt became known as one of the founders of Vienna Secession. At the beginning of the 20th Century, he created his most famous paintings, such as 'The Kiss', 'Judith I' and 'Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer'. In his works, Klimt presented women as femme fatales, often using gold decorations and symbolic themes. He died of a stroke, leaving many of his paintings unfinished.