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Gustav Klimt in Seewalchen, 1909

Gustav Klimt biography

Gustav Klimt was born in Vienna in 1862 where he spent most of his life. He died in 1918 in the Austrian capital following a stroke. Klimt is buried in Hietzing cemetery.

1862
Born on July 14 in Baumgarten, Vienna.

1883
Founds the Künstler-Compagnie with his brother Ernst Klimt and Franz Matsch.

1886
Begins work on the ceiling paintings in the stairwells of the Burgtheater with Ernst Klimt and Franz Matsch (completed in 1888).

1890
Gustav Klimt, his brother Ernst and Franz Matsch complete Hans Makart's unfinished decoration of the stairwells of the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

1891
Klimt joins the Künstlerhausgenossenschaft artists' association.

1894
Klimt wins a commission for the faculty pictures from the University of Vienna (Philosophy, Medicine, Jurisprudence). Klimt's pictures win a number of international prizes. Under fire in Austria, he renounces his commission in 1905.

1897
Klimt leaves the Künstlerhausgenossenschaft to become a founder member and the first president of the Vienna Secession. He remains a member of the Secession until 1905.

1898
First and second Secession exhibition featuring Klimt's work. His picture Pallas Athene (today in the Wien Museum) draws stinging criticism.

1900
Seventh Secession exhibition: Klimt shows his first landscapes. Faculty picture Philosophy wins a gold medal at the World Expo in Paris.

1902
Klimt paints a portrait of Emilie Flöge and begins a lifelong friendship with the fashion salon owner. The portrait is on display at the Wien Museum. At the fourteenth Secession exhibition Klimt presents his Beethoven Frieze, which remains on display at the building to this day.

1904
Josef Hoffmann wins the contract to build the Palais Stoclet in Brussels. Klimt provides the design for the palace's dining room.

1906
The picture of Fritza Riedler is the first square portrait of his Golden Phase. It is currently on display at the Belvedere.

1907
Klimt paints Adele Bloch-Bauer I, now one of the most expensive pictures in the world.

1908
Klimt presents The Kiss at the Kunstschau 1908 in Vienna. Now on display at the Belvedere, it was always destined to become the best known of all his pictures.

1911
Death and Life (on show at the Leopold Museum) wins the first prize at the International Ex­hibition of Art in Rome.

1918
Klimt dies on February 6 in Vienna following a stroke. He is buried in Hietzing cemetery. Otto Wagner, Kolo Moser and Egon Schiele all die in the same year.

Source: Gustav Klimt. Die Bilder und Zeichnungen der Sammlung Leopold by Otto Breicha (Verlag Galerie Welz, Salzburg 1990)

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