Gustav Klimt

Austrian painter and designer. Klimt opened a studio in 1883 after training at the School of Arts and Crafts in Vienna. His early paintings were academic in style, but he became increasingly influenced by Symbolism, provoking bitter criticisms from Vienna’s artistic establishment. Klimt was one of the founders of the Secession in 1897, becoming the group’s first president; he also set up the journal Ver Sacrum. The Beethouen Frieze, painted in 1902 to decorate the Secession Building, signalled an even more stylised aesthetic. Klimt remained a prominent figure in the Secession until he resigned in 1905. He was associated with the Wiener Werkstatte, his most notable contribution being his friezes for the Palais Stoclet in Brussels designed by Josef Hoffmann in 1905-11.