Austrian painter. He was influenced by Jugendstil (art nouveau) and was a founding member of the Vienna Sezession group in 1897. His paintings, often sensual and erotic, have a jewelled effect similar to mosaics, for example The Kiss (1909; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Strasbourg). His many portraits include Judith I (1901; Österreichische Galerie, Vienna).
Klimt's paintings and other decorative works (for example, the mosaics for the Palais Stoclet, Brussels) are characterized by academic forms that are obscured by massed repetitive decorative elements. His use of decorative fragments and gold backgrounds is derived from Byzantine mosaics, but his depiction of women – as seductive and dangerous – is typical of fin-de-siècledecadence. Examples are the Jurisprudence panel (1903–07; destroyed 1945) and his ideal woman as Pallas Athene.
Portrait of a Lady was stolen from a gallery in Piacenza, Italy in February 1997. The theft occurred at a time of upheaval at the gallery when many of its most prized items were being relocated for an exhibition in March.
Pattern and Texture
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