Klimt

Gustav Klimt is one of my favorite painters.  Known as a symbolist painter his primary subject was the female body.  Klimt was born in Vienna, Austria in 1862.  He was a founding member of the Secession Movement that supported young unconventional artists and encouraged foreign artists to exhibit their work to Vienna.  He later became president of the movement in 1897.  He was commissioned by the University of Vienna to create 3 painting for the ceiling in their Great Hall.  When he completed the paintings there were seen as offensive and pornographic in nature and were never hung in the Great Hall.  He never took a commissioned job again.  Through what was labeled as his 'Golden Phase' Klimt used gold leaf in his paintings.  The most famous painting from his 'Golden Phase' was "The Kiss."  Klimt was awarded first place in the 1911 world exhibition in Rome for his painting Death and Life.  His mother was named Anna, who died in 1915.  Three years later he suffered a stroke and caught pneumonia due to an influenza epidemic later passing on February 6, 1918.  Many of his paintings were left unfinished but have been some of the highest selling individual works of art in the world to date.  The portrait titled Adele Bloch-Bauer sold for $135 million in 2006 surpassing Picaso's painting Boy With A Pipe that reportedly sold for $104 million in 2004.  You can see all of his work at the Klimt Museum website below.