Klimt “Buchenwald (Birkenwald)” Sold for 105 Mio Euro in New York at Christie’s – most expensive Klimt picture ever !
Gustav Klimt (1862- 1918)
Gustav Klimt was born in 1862 in Baumgarten, near Vienna in Austria-Hungary. He attended the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts before taking on commissions with his brother, Ernst, and a fellow-student Franz von Matsch from 1879. Over the next decade, alongside several private commissions for portraiture, they painted interior murals and ceilings in large public buildings, including the Burgtheater, the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the ceiling of the Great Hall at the University of vienna.
Klimt worked in Vienna during the Belle Époque, during which time the city made “an extreme and lasting contribution to the history of modern art”. In 1897 he was a founding member and president of the Vienna Secession, a group of artists who wanted to break with what they saw as the prevailing conservatism of the Viennese Künstlerhaus. Klimt in particular challenged what he saw as the “hypocritical boundaries of respectability set by Viennese society”. According to the art historian Susanna Partsch, he was “the enfant terrible of the Viennese art scene, was acknowledged to be the painter of beautiful women”. By 1900 he was the preferred portrait painter of the wives of the largely Jewish Viennese bourgeoisie, an emerging class of self-made industrialists who were “buying the innovative new art that state museums rejected”, according to the journalist Anne-Marie O’Connor.
His most famous artworks:
“Adele Bloch-Bauer” (1907), The painting measures 138 by 138 cm, it is composed of oil paint and silver and gold leaf on canvas. The portrait shows Adele Bloch-Bauer sitting on a golden throne or chair, in front of a golden starry background.
In 2006, it was acquired for a reported record price of $135 million – the highest price ever paid for a painting up to that time – by the US entrepreneur Ronald Lauder for the New Gallery he founded in Manhattan, New York. https://www.neuegalerie.org/content/adele-bloch-bauer-i
“The Kiss” (1908), measures 180 by 180 cm, an oil-on-canvas painting with added gold leaf, silver and platinum. The painting depicts a couple embracing each other, their bodies entwined in elaborate beautiful robes decorated in a style influenced by the contemporary Art Nouveau style and the organic forms of the earlier Arts and Crafts movement. The painting now hangs in the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere museum in the Belvedere, Vienna, and is considered a masterpiece of Vienna Secession (local variation of Art Nouveau) and Klimt’s most popular work. https://www.belvedere.at/en/permanent-collection
Worldwide, no other artist sells as many art prints, replicas and souvenirs as works of art by Gustav Klimt.