Interior of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, with archway and spandrel decoration depicting figures representing 14th century Rome and Venice, 1890/91 (mural), Klimt, Gustav (1862-1918) / Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria / The Bridgeman Art
Austrian iconoclast Gustav Klimt (1862 – 1918) triumphed over childhood poverty to significantly influence the Viennese Secession and Art Nouveau movement. Klimt’s elaborate, explicitly sensual works expressed themes of regeneration, love and death, and incorporated Egyptian, Classical Greek, Byzantine and Medieval styles. Klimt also utilized symbols representing art’s liberation from traditional culture. Laying the groundwork for Art Deco and Modernism, Klimt’s creative influence can still be seen in today’s art, decorations and jewelry.