Timeline of Gustav Klimt

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Gustav Klimt was born in 1862 in Baumgarten, Austria. Despite his father being a gold engraver, the family lived in poverty during Klimt’s childhood. At age 14, he was awarded a scholarship to the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, where he received his first commissions. Along with his brother Ernst and Franz Matsch, Klimt formed the Kanstlercompanie and worked on various projects for theaters, churches, and museums. In 1893, Klimt and Matsch were commissioned to decorate the ceiling of the Great Hall of the new University of Vienna, but a falling-out between the two delayed the project and caused controversy. Despite this setback, Klimt continued to produce artistic masterpieces until his death in 1918 at age 56.

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1862 Birth of Gustav Klimt in Baumgarten, near Vienna, Austria. His father is a gold engraver but unsuccessful in business. Klimt lived in poverty for most of his childhood. 1876 At the age of 14, Klimt was awarded a scholarship to the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts. Noticed for his talents, he receives his first commissions while studying. 1877 His brother Ernst, who, like his father, would become an engraver, also enrolled in the school. 1883

Klimt finished school/studying, and received training as an architectural painter. Klimt, his brother Ernst and Franz Matsch form the Kanstlercompanie (Company of Artists) and start a productive cooperation. Works for theaters, churches and museums were ordered by several patrons. 1885 Klimt first time using Gold Leaf in a small sketch. 1886-1892 Klimt executes mural decorations for staircases at the Burgtheater and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

He contributes for a series called Allegories and Emblems. Its success leads to a second large order, containing Klimt’s painting “Tragedy”, announcing all of his stylistic characteristics: gold paint, areas of detail and areas of abstract space, symbolism, the female figure. 1892 Death of his father and brother Ernst. 1893 Klimt and Matsch are commissioned to decorate the ceiling of the Great Hall of the new University of Vienna. Due to a falling-out between Klimt and Matsch, the works are greatly delayed.

The series of paintings, “Philosophy”, “Medecine” and “Jurisprudence”, provoked widespread controversy. He is never to accept a public commission again. 1894-1914 Klimt had a succsesful life in these years with a few ups and downs. Many artistic masterpieces have been made in these years. 1915 Klimts mother dies. 1918 On January 11th, Klimt suffers a stroke in his apartment and dies on February 6th from pneumonia at Vienna, Austria-Hungary.

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