(Mary Evans Picture Library/Imagno)

a way of expressing universal emotions – often appearing as virginal, mythical, or femme fatales. From the final two decades of the 19 th century, through to the first decade of the 20 th century, this was what embodied the art of the Symbolists. Klimt was no different. Symbolists tended to represent a diverse group of artists, who worked independently with varying goals – though there was a move to escape from reality, and abstract forms became popular with broad brushstrokes of color, which remained flat. Symbolism began in France, but it spread across Europe and North America from the early 1880s. Edvard Munch was closely associated with Symbolist circles,

while Klimt took elements of Symbolism and applied them by revealing his fascination with the productive and destructive forces of female sexuality. Klimt successfully brought together the elements of Symbolism with the decorative nature of Art Nouveau. Klimt is particularly noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other art and was prolific in Vienna at a time of great change. Many forms of culture gravitated toward the city by the turn of the century. Pioneering developments in literature, architecture, and music, alongside the arts, were taking place and, in 1910, Vienna was the fifth-largest city in the world. It was the undisputed cultural capital of Central

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