The 150th Birthday of Gustav Klimt: Austria's "Golden Painter"
His paintings are among the most expensive in the world; his cultural legacy has made him one of the most famous Austrian painters worldwide. Gustav Klimt, the founder and first president of the Viennese Secession and art nouveau icon, would have turned 150 years old this year. His hometown, Vienna, honors the great artist with numerous special exhibitions and events including making his only remaining atelier available to the public after completely renovating it.
His lifestyle was as debatable as his art. Gustav Klimt walked a fine line both socially as well as artistically. The numerous affairs with ladies from Vienna's highest society caused him no little trouble, but resulted in magnificent paintings. He was often ahead of his time - he received the Grand Prix in the 1900 Parisian World Exhibition for his commissioned work "Die Philosophie", yet was attacked and ridiculed in Vienna for the same piece.
Today, no one would dream of questioning the importance of the painter Gustav Klimt. His work "Adele Bloch-Bauer I", also known as the "Goldene Adele", is considered one of the most expensive in the world. It was acquired for a substantial 135 million dollars by Ronald Lauder for the Neue Galerie New York. The most famous painting of Gustav Klimt hangs in his hometown of Vienna, however. "Der Kuss" is part of the largest collection of Klimt paintings worldwide found in the Schloss Belvedere. The permanent exhibition shows his development from his first explorations with historism, through his secession art and includes his later works.
A highlight of the Klimt year is the exhibition "Klimt" in the Wien-Museum from May 16th to September 16th. The worldwide largest collection of Klimt drawings with 400 pages will be completely displayed for the first time. In addition, paintings of the artist such as "Emilie Flöge" and "Pallas Athene", the death mask of the artist, as well as many other Klimt pieces from the houses inventory will be on display.
In late-summer 2012, the last and only surviving atelier of Gustav Klimt in the Viennese Klimt-Villa will be opened after a complete renovation and offers a view into the artist's work atmosphere. The Viennese Albertina presents Klimt's comprehensive drawing collections in the exposition "Klimt Drawings". At the same time, the Leopold Museum will present an exhibition dealing with the travels and correspondence with Emilie Flöge. In addition to significant Klimt paintings, a number of works by secession artists such as Egon Schiele will be on display.
Other Klimt exhibitions can be seen in the Kunsthistorischen Museum (until May 6th), the Wiener Künstlerhaus (July 6th to September 2nd) and the Museum für angewandte Kunst (March 21st to July 5th). While the Kunsthistorisches Museum presents the 13 paintings and their sketches are on display in the great staircase of the museum, among other things; the Künstlerhaus, which Klimt belonged to from 1891 to 1897, documents the artist's influence there. In the Museum für angewandte Kunst, the Gustav Klimt's working drawings for the Brüsseler Palais Stoclet can be admired.
Panorama Tours is willing to organize a Klimt vacation in Vienna tailored specifically to you. Many hotels in the Austrian capital are influenced by the art nouveau style and offer the perfect surroundings for an art-historic vacation on the footsteps of the greatest painter of the Viennese Secession. A very special experience is a Klimt champagne breakfast in Café Central in the Viennese old town. Chef patissier Pierre Reboul has created two sweet dessert specialities in honor of the artist which no Klimt fan should miss: the "Klimt-Nuss-Kuss" and the "Klimt Surprise"!