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From decorative arts to erotica to gold-leaf paintings—discover the phenomenal career of fin-de-siècle Vienna’s most acclaimed painter.

The glowing, gold-leafed sensuality of The Kiss, the monumental and allegoric Beethoven Frieze, the symbolic power of Death and Life—these are some of the works that illustrate the breadth of Klimt’s enormous talent. This accessible guide to the Viennese painter places his work in the context of turn-of-the-century Vienna’s vibrantly artistic, but politically unstable, environment. Angela Wenzel traces Klimt’s early years designing grand interiors throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire, including the now-destroyed “Faculty Paintings” in the Great Hall at the University of Vienna. Readers will learn about Klimt’s co-founding of the Vienna Secession; his lifechanging travels to the basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna; his departure from the Vienna Secession and his fateful meeting with painter Egon Schiele. The story of Klimt’s life is told alongside dozens of impeccable reproductions of works in their entirety, and in elaborate detail, letting readers appreciate his precision, use of color, exquisite symbolism, and erotic geometry. Elegant as well as affordable, this compact volume is the perfect introduction to one of the most revered painters of the 20th century.

Paperback, with flaps, 112 pages, 17,0 x 21,0 cm, 55 color illustrations
ISBN: 978-3-7913-8793-2
Release date:
US April 30, 2022
UK March 15, 2022


Angela Wenzel

Angela Wenzel is a curator of education at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. She has written several guide books in the field of museum education and a number of art books for children.

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