ABOVE: Gustav Klimt, c. 1905.
In the later part of the 19 th century and the first two decades of the 20 th century, Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) was a forerunner of the Art Nouveau movement in Vienna, Austria. Also known in Germany as “youth style,” this new movement brought forth one of the most decorative, leading European artists, and greatest exponent of erotic art that the world had ever seen. Klimt began his career as a highly renowned academic painter, but he was propelled toward the greater modern trends in art, which saw a development of the erotic,
fantastical, and eclectic. This led Klimt to co-found the Vienna Secession – a movement dedicated to those artists who resigned from the establishment (The Association of Austrian Artists) – where he became its first president. At the start of his career, the Austrian artist was commissioned to paint a number of public buildings, producing friezes and murals. However, the development of his own style would lead him to scandal and accusations that his works were distasteful and pornographic in their portrayal of his themes and motifs. Klimt steadily moved away from
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