"Young people no longer understand me"
Gustav Klimt story
Gustav Klimt was born in Vienna into a large and humble family. At the age of 14, he began studying on a scholarship at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts.
At the end of his studies as a painter and decorator in 1883, he founded the Company of Artists (Künstler-Compagnie), carrying out decoration commissions in public buildings with his brother Ernst Klimt and his friend Franz Matsch. Among them are the frescoes on the stairs of the Burgtheater in Vienna for whose work Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria awarded him the Golden Order of Merit in 1888.
In the early 1890s, Klimt met his life partner, Emilie Flöge. In 1891 he became a member of the Society of the House of Artists (Künstlerhausgenossenschaft). A year later his father and brother passed away, affecting their family responsibilities and the development of their style.
From 1897 Gustav Klimt left the Society of the House of Artists to found and preside over the Vienna Secession group (Wiener Sezession) participating in its exhibitions until 1905.
Gustav Klimt reached artistic maturity on his return from a trip to Italy in 1903 where he came into contact with Byzantine mosaics. With the portrait of Fritza Riedler begins her "golden period" of great commercial success. His most famous painting The Kiss (1907-1908) and his most expensive work belong to this stage: Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907) with a hammer price of 135 million dollars in 2006.
Klimt died of a stroke in 1918, leaving his decorative works, his commercial pull and his reputation as a womanizer for posterity.