Heralded as the greatest genius of his time, Gustav Klimt’s richly patterned landscapes, erotic portraits and allegorical compositions marked him out as a leader of Vienna modernism. Although his landscapes and decorative schemes were highly acclaimed, his best known works are those depicting the female form, the concept of Woman in all her various guises.
Richard Muter, in a newspaper review of 1909, claimed that “The new Viennese woman, a specific sort of new Viennese woman – their grandmothers were Judith and Salome – has been invented or discovered by Klimt. She is delightfully vicious, charmingly sinful, fascinatingly perverse.”
Little is known about the man behind the paintings, and even less about the women who posed for them. However, Klimt is thought to have had relationships with many of his models and fathered several children.
According to contemporary descriptions, Klimt’s studios were filled with mysterious female beings, who, while he worked, wandered up and down, lolling about and relaxing. They were…
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