Klimt, Gustav go͝os´täf klĭmt [key], 1862–1918, Austrian painter. He cofounded the Vienna Secession group, an alliance against 19th-century eclecticism in art, and in 1897 became its first president. In the following decade Klimt became the foremost painter of art nouveau in Vienna. He created many murals for public buildings, e.g., the frieze for the Palais Stoclet, Brussels (1908). Klimt achieved his greatest fame as a portrait and landscape painter of exotic and erotic sensibility. Delineating symbolic themes with extravagant rhythms, Klimt was the quintessential exponent of art nouveau. The Museum of Modern Art and the Neue Galerie, both in New York City, own outstanding examples of his work.
See his catalogue raisonné by F. Novotny and J. Dobai (tr. 1969); C. B. Bailey, Gustav Klimt: Modernism in the Making (2001); S. Koja, ed., Gustav Klimt: Landscapes (2002); M. Bisanz-Prakken, Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line (2012).
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