Famous Paintings by Gustav Klimt

12 of the Most Famous Paintings by Gustav Klimt

These are the 12 most famous paintings by Gustav Klimt. Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) was an Austrian painter and the originator of the Vienna Secession school of art. He established his independent studio, focusing on the production of mural paintings. His artworks were recognized for their highly colorful designs and sensual characters, which were considered a reaction to the typical academic art of his day.

The Kiss (1908)

The Kiss is by far one of the most famous paintings by Gustav Klimt, if not the most famous of all. This is a painting of a couple kneeling in a patch of grass with wildflowers. It represents an erotic and spiritual love and relationship, while the rest of the painting dissolves into shimmery, extravagant plain color and pattern. “The Kiss” was a visual expression of the “fin-de-siecle spirit” because it captured a decadence conveyed by rich and sensual pictures.

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907)

This is a painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer, the wife of a rich businessman in Vienna, where Klimt lived and worked. It is also known as “Lady in Gold.” There are 2 formal paintings of Adele, painted by Klimt, who was an important patron of his. This is Klimt’s final and most finished work from his golden period.

Judith and the Head of Holofernes (1901)

This is a painting of the biblical character Judith holding Holofernes’ decapitated head. She is a prototypical femme fatale—a woman who derives pleasure from the seduction and subsequent destruction of men. Klimt was one of the first to depict Judith in this light. “Judith and the Head of Holofernes” evokes strong emotional reactions. This, one of the famous paintings by Gustav Klimt has become an icon.

Adele Bloch-Bauer II (1912)

This is the second painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer, the wife of a rich businessman in Vienna, where Klimt lived and worked. It is a simpler, more colorful oil on canvas work, whereas Adele Bloch-Bauer’s first version is the centerpiece of his opulent Gold Period style. Despite their stylistic differences, the two paintings share a turbulent history.

Italian Horticultural Landscape (1913)

This is a painting of a variety of brightly colored flowers interconnected with vegetation. The curve of the bush draws attention to a white building that is partially sticking out from behind a tree, establishing a sense of uncertainty. This painting was created in Art Nouveau, which is a modern style.

Flower Garden (1907)

This is a close-up painting of a flower garden with many different designs. “Flower Garden” is also known as “Bauerngarten.” A pyramidal structure gives form and shape to the intensity of patterning. An odd blue note is placed at the center of this composition to serve as a focal point among the color confusion.

Portrait of Fritza Riedler (1906)

This is a painting of a woman named Fritza Riedler, with an unknown narrative behind it. She is staring into the distance with her head slightly tilted. This masterpiece is a beautiful example of Klimt’s art nouveau style, with vibrant colors, bronzed materials, and a variety of patterns and textures. 

Portrait of a Lady (1917)

This is a painting of a young woman with whom Klimt is said to have had a relationship. It’s presented in a very vivid expressionistic style. This painting was an overpainting of Klimt’s lost work, “Portrait of a Young Lady” (in a Hat and with Scarf), which vanished in 1917.

Danaë (1908)

This is a painting of Dana, an Argive princess, who has her leg lifted. She was a representation of eternal love, transcendence, and breathtaking beauty. This painting is a classic example of Klimt’s stylized eroticism, which was a recurring theme and was inspired by Titian’s series of paintings by the same name. 

The Three Ages of Woman (1905)

This is a painting of three women who were real and recognizable women and not glorified nudists. “The Three Ages of Woman,” also known as “Mother and Child,” symbolizes the 3 major stages of a woman’s life: childhood, motherhood, and old age. The Three Ages of Woman was Klimt’s first significant oil painting and is now one of the most famous paintings by Gustav Klimt.

The Maiden (1913)

This painting depicts a young girl’s dreamy sensuality as she fantasizes about future possibilities in a dream state, surrounded by a patchwork quilt of women. This was one of Klimt’s final works before his death in 1918. He also left behind an incomplete painting called “The Bride,” which was supposed to be a companion piece to this painting.

Portrait of Emilie Flöge (1902)

This is a painting of Emilie Flöge, Klimt’s long-time companion. Her strong attitude, the attractive oval face surrounded by a mass of black, unruly curls, and sparkling blue eyes that meet the viewer directly provide an incandescent and fascinating sight. Every detail of this painting reflects Klimt’s and the historical period’s aesthetic perspective.

What famous paintings by Gustav Klimt do you think we should add to this list? Comment below.

1 thought on “12 of the Most Famous Paintings by Gustav Klimt”

  1. The Beethoven Frieze at the Secession is incredible, and belongs on this list. To view the painting one goes downstairs in the museum and to a separate room where the frieze is high up on the wall. The museum also provides headphones so that visitors can listen to Beethoven’s 9th, which was played during the exhibition of the Secession upon the building’s opening.

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