Education - Klimt Villa Wien

Biography

1862 Gustav Klimt was born on 14 July in Baumgarten, a suburb of Vienna, the second of seven children (three boys, four girls). Mother: Anna Klimt, née Finster, from Vienna (1836-1915); father Ernst Klimt (1834-1892), an engraver, had moved to Vienna from northern Bohemia.

1876-83 Student at School of Arts and Crafts of the Austrian Museum for Art and Industry. His brothers, Ernst (1864-1892) and Georg (1867-1931) are also students there. Taught to paint by Ferdinand Julius Laufberger (1829-1881) and Julius Victor Berger (1850-1902). In 1879 Gustav and Ernst, together with Franz Matsch (1861-1942), contribute to the Grand Festive Procession, designed by Hans Makart (1840-1884), to celebrate the silver wedding anniversary of Emperor Franz Joseph and Elisabeth.
1883 Foundation of the "Künstlercompagnie" (Artists Company) with his brother Ernst and with Franz Matsch. They share a studio in the 6th district at Sandwirtgasse 8 from which the Klimts are able to financially support their impoverished family.

1886-92 The "Artists Company" creates staircase and ceiling paintings for various theatres in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Hermesvilla in Vienna. In 1889 Klimt visits the Salzkammergut for the first time, and in 1890 receives the 'Kaiserpreis' for his painting of members of Viennese society in the Burgtheater. In 1891 his brother Ernst marries Helene Flöge (1871-1936). Gustav paints a portrait of her younger sister, Emilie Flöge (1874-1952). This was one of his first portraits.
1892 The studio cooperative moves. The new studio is at Josefstädter Straße 21 in the 8th district. Death of Gustav Klimt's father and his brother Ernst. Ernst's death leads to the end of "Künstlercompagnie". Gustav becomes guardian of Ernst's baby daughter, Helene (1892-1980). As a result of family ties between the Flöges and Klimts, a lifelong friendship develops between Gustav Klimt and Emilie Flöge.
1894 Commission for the Faculty Paintings for the Assembly Hall at the University of Vienna to be shared with Franz Matsch. Artistic estrangement from Franz Matsch and the studio cooperative breaks up.
1896 Klimt becomes board member of the Society for Reproductive Art.

1897 Klimt leaves the conservative artist association "Co-operative Society of Visual Artists Vienna, Künstlerhaus". Is founding member (with forty others) and first president of the Vienna Secession, that aims to explore new aesthetic avant-garde art in the form of exhibitions and publications. Summer vacation with the Flöge family in Fieberbrunn, Tyrol.

1898 First and second Secession exhibitions with works by Gustav Klimt. Launch of the Jugendstil journal "Ver Sacrum". Klimt is made honorary member of the International Society of Artists, Sculptors and Engravers, London (president: James McNeill Whistler). Summer vacation in the Salzkammergut at St. Agatha with the Flöge family.

1899 Completion of the music room at Palais Dumba, Parkring 4, Vienna, with "Schubert at the Piano" (burnt in the Immendorf fire in 1945). This painting also shows Maria Zimmermann, model for Klimt and mother of two of Klimt's illegitimate sons (Gustav and Otto Zimmermann). Summer in Golling near Salzburg with the Flöge family.
1900 Exhibition of the first version of the Faculty Painting "Philosophy" at the Vienna Secession ("Philosophy", "Medicine" and "Jurisprudence" burnt at Immendorf in 1945). "Philosophy" causes a scandal in Vienna but is awarded a gold medal at the Paris World Fair. Japanese exhibition at the Vienna Secession exhibition building. The first of his regular summer sojourns at the Attersee lake with the Flöge family.

1902 14th exhibition of the Secession for which Klimt creates the 24 meter long Beethoven Frieze. Auguste Rodin admires the frieze and meets Klimt. Klimt paints his last portrait of Emilie Flöge.

1903 Foundation of the "Wiener Werkstätte" by Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser and Fritz Waerndorfer. Klimt travels to Ravenna, Venice, Padua, Florence and Pisa; starts working with gold. Solo exhibition of 80 Klimt works at the Secession.

1904 Emilie Flöge and her two sisters open a fashion salon 'Schwestern Flöge' at 1b Mariahilferstraße, Vienna. Klimt is a frequent visitor, interested in the design of dresses and takes photographs of Emilie modelling them in the garden of his studio.

1905 Klimt withdraws from the contract for the Faculty Paintings and refunds the pre-paid fee to the Ministry of Education. The "Klimt Group" leaves the Vienna Secession (Gustav Klimt, Josef Hoffmann, Otto Wagner, Kolo Moser, Carl Moll and others). The Academy of Fine Arts proposes appointing Klimt as professor, but this is rejected by the Ministry. First designs for the mosaic frieze at Palais Stoclet in Brussels which is realized by the Wiener Werkstätte.

1907 Egon Schiele meets Klimt and is influenced by his work for many years.
1908 Exhibition at the "First Vienna Kunstschau" (Art Show) in a temporary pavilion designed by Josef Hoffmann. Klimt gives the opening speech; his painting "The Kiss" - unfinished at that time - is acquired by the Austrian State Gallery.

1909-10 Exhibits in Vienna, Munich, Berlin, Venice and Prague. Visits Paris and Spain.

1911 Completion of the "Stoclet Frieze" in Brussels. Trips to Paris, Madrid and Toledo in a phase of stylistic change. Abandons the "Golden Style" in favour of vibrant colours. Participation in the International Art Exhibition in Rome where "Death and Life" is awarded first prize.

1912 Move to the last studio: Klimt rents a one-storey Biedermeier house in the midst of a large garden at Feldmühlgasse in Vienna's 13th district. Takes part in the Great Art Exhibition in Dresden. Made President of the artist association "Bund Österreichischer Künstler". Summer 'health visits' to Bad Gastein with Emilie Flöge, which continue each year until his death.

1913 Kijiro Ohta, a Japanese painter, visits Klimt. He writes an article in 1914 for the journal "Bijutsu Shinpo" (Art News) (cf. OHTA: A Visit to Klimt in Vienna, 2005). Klimt takes part in exhibitions in Budapest, Munich and Mannheim.
1915 Death of Klimt's mother, aged 79. He reworks "Death and Life" in his studio at Feldmühlgasse. Arthur Schnitzler visits Klimt at his studio.

1916 Klimt contributes to an exhibition at the Berlin Secession together with Schiele, Kokoschka and Faistauer.

1917 Elected honorary member of the academies of fine art in Vienna and Munich. Preparation for an exhibition of Austrian art in Stockholm. Experiments with various stylistic devices.

1918 On 11 January Gustav Klimt suffers a stroke in his flat, Westbahnstraße 36, in the 7th district. He dies on 6 February in Vienna's General Hospital. His funeral takes place three days later at Hietzing Cemetery.



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