Follow the path to international stardom of artist Klimt in this extensive biography of his life and career
Ernst Klimt marries Anna Finster and two years later Gustav is born.
14th July marks the birth of this famous artist, coming after Klara his eldest sister. The family were living in Vienna at this time, in relatively modest circumstances.
Younger brother, Ernst, joins this ever expanding family, with more to come up until 1873. Further offspring were Hermine, Georg, Anna and Johanna with large families common throughout Europe during this time.
Gustav joins the School of Applied Arts and it was at this point that he was to start learning his trade in which he had already shown great passion and some natural talent.
At this early stage Gustav had ambitions of using his drawing skills to become an art teacher but his technical promise persuades others to encourage him to continue his studies, which he does. Two years later, his younger brother Ernst is also invited into the School.
The two brothers join Franz Matsch in forming the Artists' Company and set about finding commissions for their work to finance their new direction.
They promote themselves as consistent in their approach and able to provide a uniform finish when contributing collectively. Their early commissions were for Ferdinand Laufberger and Julius Victor Berger and these two contacts were crucial to establishing a solid foundation for the future.
Artists' Company, or Kunstler-Compagnie to give it's original name, acquire several commissions for interior design work. Architects give them freedom to create decorative pieces for the salon of the Palais Stuany in Vienna, the concert hall in Carlsbad plus the municipal theatre in Reichenberg.
As the three complete their training, exciting times lie ahead. A new studio is set up for the three artists in Vienna's 6th district. Gustav also gains work at the Peles Castle in Romania, one of his earliest and largest jobs abroad. This work continued his interior decoration experience and this was the artistic medium in which their company was now flourishing.
Croatia is the next destination for these artists, working at the municipal theatre in Fiume. There is also continued domestic work in Lainz and Carlsbad.
The prominent Burgtheatre employs them for two new staircases in order to bolster its impending launch and this work earns them the presetigious Gold Cross of Merit by Emperor Franz Joseph I. This considerable commission takes two years to complete.
It was around this time that Gustav started several relationships which were to last throughout his lifetime and also play a significant role in his artistic development. The Lederers brought him in to produce several portraits of their family and over the years would call on his services frequently.
The Klimts and Floeges came across each other for the first time. The latter were an upper society family whose daughters Emilie and Helene would build strong friendships with both Gustav and his brother Ernst. Kunstler-Compagnie continues its development with new work in Germany.
Further awards arrive for Gustav's work in the Old Burgtheatre. The very first Emperor's Prize was given specifically for a gouche artwork of the interior of this building.
A staircase decoration completed the following year marked the last work completed by Artists' Company as an official collective force. Gustav at this time moved in with his mother and two of his sisters.