Vienna Media News 01/2012 VIDEO: Klimt 2012
Klimt's style revolutionized painting. Today, his decorative gilt paintings fetch some of the highest prices of any artist's work at auction. His unusual portraits of female sitters provide a unique insight into the rise of the middle classes. Taken as a whole, his oeuvre reflects the evolution of artistic movements from the Ringstrassen era to the early days of abstraction, and while many of his pieces attracted hefty criticism at home, they won numerous prizes abroad. Klimt died Vienna in Vienna in 1918 following a stroke.
His works have lost nothing of their appeal to this day, and many of them are on permanent display in some of the Austrian capital's leading cultural institutions. Klimt's best known work is on show at the Upper Belvedere: The Kiss changed the course of art history for ever, marking the dawn of the modernist era. Klimt's world-famous Beethoven Frieze (1902) is on display at the Secession - one of Vienna's most eye-catching architectural attractions and the former headquarters of the artists' association which Klimt co-founded. The cycle, inspired by the composer, adorns three walls and measures approximately 34 by 2 meters.
In the stairwell of the Kunsthistorisches Museum there are some 40 spandrel paintings and other decorative works in the narrow sections of wall between the archways and columns, eleven of them by Gustav Klimt, and the remainder by his brother Ernst and by Franz Matsch. The images depict the history of the fine and applied arts from their ancient Egyptian beginnings to the modern age. A set of priceless sketches by Gustav Klimt for the ceiling paintings above the grand staircase of the Burgtheater were discovered in the theater's attic in the late 1990s, rescuing them just in time from being lost forever due to decay. Today the drawings, which include the artist's only self-portrait, are exhibited in a separate Klimt room. They can be viewed as part of a guided tour that also takes in the ceiling paintings above the grand staircase.
Klimt joined forces with Josef Hoffmann to work on the Palais Stoclet in Brussels, for which Klimt created the legendary Stoclet Frieze. His nine working sketches for the project are on display in Vienna at the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art (MAK). The MAK also owns the estate of the world-famous Wiener Werkstätte, which contains studies, model books, photographic volumes, original fabric patterns, embroideries and the entire company archive.
- Belvedere, Upper Belvedere, Prinz-Eugen-Strasse 27, 1030 Vienna, www.belvedere.at
- Secession, Friedrichstrasse 12, 1010 Vienna, www.secession.at
- Kunsthistorisches Museum, Maria-Theresien-Platz, 1010 Vienna, www.khm.at
- Burgtheater, Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Ring 2, 1010 Vienna, www.burgtheater.at
- Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art (MAK), Stubenring 5, 1010 Vienna, www.mak.at
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