Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objets d’art. Klimt’s primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism. In addition to his figurative works, which include allegories and portraits, he painted landscapes. Among the artists of the Vienna Secession, Klimt was the most influenced by Japanese art and its methods.
Early in his artistic career, he was a successful painter of architectural decorations in a conventional manner. As he developed a more personal style, his work was the subject of controversy that culminated when the paintings he completed around 1900 for the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna were criticized as pornographic. He subsequently accepted no more public commissions, but achieved a new success with the paintings of his “golden phase,” many of which include gold leaf. Klimt’s work was an important influence on his younger contemporary Egon Schiele.
Writers who have been inspired by Klimt include the Romanian poet Sebastian Reichmann, who in 2008 published a book called Mocheta lui Klimt (Klimt’s Carpet). As the author says in an interview, and in one of the poems from the book, the title was inspired by a carpet that reminded him of Klimt’s paintings.
The book’s front cover depicts an Art Nouveau-styled passage from Bucharest. South Korean novelist Kim Young-ha frequently refers to Klimt, particularly Judith, in his first novel I Have The Right To Destroy Myself. One of the main characters in this novel is referred to by the other characters as Judith because of her resemblance to Klimt’s painting.
“Klimt” is a musical composition by Claudio Ottaviano Trio included in the album “Notturno” (NuomRecords 2013). Japanese rock band Buck-Tick based the cover artwork of their 2012 album, Yume Miru Uchuu, on Klimt’s Gold Fish.
Several of Klimt’s most famous works from his golden period inspired the title sequence for the animated adaptation of the manga series, Elfen Lied, in which the art is recreated to fit with the series’ own characters and is arranged as a montage with the song “Lilium”.
The opening to the anime Sound of the Sky also is largely inspired by Klimt’s works, which was also directed by the same director as Elfen Lied. The design of the land of Centopia on the TV series Mia and Me is inspired by Klimt’s works. The art of the video game Transistor also uses patterns and embellishments inspired by Klimt.
Couturier John Galliano found inspiration for the Christian Dior Spring-Summer 2008 haute couture collection in Klimt’s work. Gustav Klimt and his work have been the subjects of many collector coins and medals, such as the 100 Euro Painting Gold Coin, issued on November 5, 2003, by the Austrian Mint. The obverse depicts Klimt in his studio with two unfinished paintings on easels.