Gustav Klimt: The 'golden' years

Gustav Klimt: The 'golden' years
Gustav Klimt was to outgrow the controversies of his middle years, and embark on the golden phase of his life.

As a son of a gold engraver, Gustav Klimt grew up around the precious metal, and the influenced carried itself into adulthood, and his professional life. (See: Gustav Klimt's 150th birth anniversary marked by Google doodle) A lot of his work, even during the initial years, used gold leaf. The Pallas Athene and Judith I are prime examples of early work with prominent use of gold.

Gustav Klimt's most acclaimed works with golden leaf are from his latter days, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer and The Kiss - the famous picture that is also featured in the Google Doodle. The beautiful mosaics of Venice and Ravenna, which Klimt frequently visited, are said to have inspired the gold technique and Byzantine imagery evident in his work.

In 1904, a wealthy Belgian industrialist and art-lover named Adolphe Stoclet commissioned Gustav Klimt, and several other artists, to work on decorating his home. The Palais Stoclet (Stoclet Palace), built by architect Josef Hoffmann, is considered one of the most refined and luxurious private houses of the twentieth century.

Gustav Klimt's contributions to the dining room of the Stoclet Palace - including Fulfillment and Expectation - are considered some of his finest decorative work. Klimit himself was extremely proud of his work at the Stoclet Palace, publicly stating that it was "probably the ultimate stage of my development of ornament."

Unlike a few other famous artists, Gustav Klimt kept very little written record of his vision or methods. In a rare writing called Commentary on a non-existent self-portrait, Klimt states "I have never painted a self-portrait. I am less interested in myself as a subject for a painting than I am in other people, above all women...There is nothing special about me. I am a painter who paints day after day from morning to night...Who ever wants to know something about me... ought to look carefully at my pictures."

For more Google doodles, visit this page.

Best Google doodle of 2012

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