Happy Birthday, Gustav Klimt!

For the birthday of one my favorite artists, Gustav Klimt, let's revisit this post from his 150th birthday a few years ago:

Gustav Klimt in Blue Smock by Egon Schiele (private collection)

Have you ever walked into an art exhibition and everything just falls into place? Your world shifts, your jaw drops and time really does stand still, if just for a moment .. and there just aren't enough cliche's to cover it..

Judith by Gustav Klimt

This happened to me years ago in Rome - we were driving around late, taking funky night photos and stumbled upon a show of the collected works Gustav Klimt. And, well, my brains just fell out.

Avenue of Schloss Kamer Park by Gustav Klimt
I didn't "discover" this artist's work until later in life.  In my teens I was put off by the ubiquitous  poster of "The Kiss" in every 3rd (lovesick) girl's dorm room. To be fair this was during my Tom Savini / Jackson Pollock phase.

Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt 

At the time of the Italy trip I was working in antiques restoration and had been learning about the  furniture & decorative pieces of Josef Hoffmann. I'd come across some prints of Klimt's paintings while reading about the Vienna Secession (the " golden age" of arts & crafts in Vienna from 1895 - 1920). While I admired their decorative quality and noted how well the frames complimented the works (they were often designed by Gustav & made by his brother Georg), I was unprepared for the impression original paintings would have on me. (Do you find that certain artist's works are remarkably different, more powerful "live"? The energy just doesn't quite come through in even well reproduce prints? Klimt is definitely in this category)

passport of Gustav Klimt from Klimt.com

Now I am a big-ole Klimt fangirl! Over the years, I have had the good fortune to stumble upon  several Klimt shows. One of these days I will get to Vienna.

If you are looking for some glamour and awe you can find this artist's work in museums around the globe. One of my favorite spaces is the the wonder-filled Neue Gallerie in NYC, which houses the glowing Portrait of Adele Block Bauer among others.
If you are in Vienna this is a great resource  for finding his pieces.

Fish Blood by Gustav Klimt

Right now The Getty in L.A. is featuring a number of his drawings.
Artcyclopedia has a pretty good list of where to visit Klimpt paintings worldwide.

Some fun online sources include:

http://www.abcgallery.com/K/klimt/klimt.html - this one has a list of paintings & where to find them.
Also, click on any photo captions in this post that are highlighted & they will take you to the museum that houses them.

The Bride (unfinished) by Gustav Klimt (private collection)
Oh, I really could go on and on .... about Klimt's love for women (he drew many of them naked before painting their clothes).

Goldfish (to my critics) by Gustav Klimt
... about his irritation with the old-school and the famous "kiss my ass" Goldfish painting

Portrait of Emilie Flöge by Gustav Klimt

... or his life-long relationship with Emilie Floge and the silly "did they or didn't they..." discussions

Malcesine on Lake Garda by Gustav Klimt (destroyed or lost 1945)
... or wonder aloud will any more of "the lost paintings" ever be found....

... and the list goes on... so I'm just going to wave goodnight to anyone still listening and raise a glass to this brilliant creative artist in honor of his birth 150 years ago today.

Gustav Klimt by Madam d'Ora 
Happy Birthday, Mr. Klimt!

(July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918)

Whoever wants to know something about me - as an artist which alone is significant - they should look attentively at my pictures and there seek to recognise what I am and what I want. - Gustav Klimt

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