This is the work of the great Austrian symbolist who paid particular homage to the female form. Gustav Klimt's ornate art expresses the apocalyptic atmosphere of Vienna's upper middle-class society around the turn of the 20th century - a society devoted to the cultivation of aesthetic awareness and the cult of pleasure. The ecstatic joy which Klimt and his contemporaries found - or hoped to find - in beauty was constantly overshadowed by death. And death therefore plays an important role in Klimt's art. Klimt's fame, however, rests on his reputation as one of the greatest erotic painters and graphic artists of his times. Particularly his drawings, which have been widely admired for their artistic excellence, are dominated by the sensual portrayal of women. Every book in TASCHEN's "Basic Art" series features: a detailed chronological summary of the artist's life and work, covering the cultural and historical importance of the artist; approximately 100 color illustrations with explanatory captions; and a concise biography.
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