Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) was an Austrian painter known for the decorative, erotic nature of his works. Raised by a struggling gold engraver, Klimt attended the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts on a full scholarship starting at the age of 14. His training was conservative, and his early focus was primarily architectural painting. However, after the passing of his father and brother, Klimt rejected the formality and naturalism of his training in favor of a more symbolic and decorative personal style that he is recognized for today. Many of his best known works are from his “Golden Period”, which consisted of figurative, iconic portraits of women hanging in two dimensional space, with decorative patterns reminiscent of Byzantine mosaics, with the added extensive use of ornamental gold leaf (perhaps a reference to his father).

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