Self Portrait by Gustav Klimt

Presumed self portrait.

Austrian painter Gustav Klimt was one of the most radical artists of the 20th century. Through his intensely decorative and erotic style, he pushed at the boundaries of traditional artistic convention, paving the way for modernists of the future.

Born in 1862 in Baumgarten, just outside Vienna, Klimt was the second of seven children. His mother, Anna, was Austrian and a talented musician, whose dream of becoming an opera singer was never fulfilled, such were the pressures of motherhood. Klimt’s father, Ernst the Elder, hailed from from Bohemia and was a gold engraver by trade as well as a skilled painter, who taught his children to paint from a young age. The family lived by humble means, but Klimt’s artistic talent earned him a full scholarship to the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts aged only 14, his younger brother Ernst following suit soon after.
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