The author, who knew Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) in the last year of his life, gives insight to Klimt's place in society during and after the Viennna Secession, 1897-1905 and the Weiner Werkstatte, 1905-11, as well as his work as a landscape artist, his private life, as a sponsor of young talent, and his patrons and dealers. Individual chapters discuss Klimt and his fellow artists, offering a fuller view of the times and his context in them. His own seminal magazine, Ver Sacrum, is examined.
Other artists whose fine work is included here are Max Klinger, Hermann Bahr, Auguste Rodin, Josef Hoffman, Egon Schiele, Ferdinand Hodler, and Remigius Geyling, whose picture we include here. It is the only painting of Klimt at work, in this case, a tongue-in-cheek look at working on a mural, his naked models offering him lunch! There's also a chapter on his models.
His depiction of women as nature made them--he was the first among his contemporaries go public with pubic hair and nude pregnancy--was the cause for much scandal, and his innovative use of flattening space and decorative detail gained him a particularly vehement enmity from conservative artists and public.
Nevertheless, his beautifully ornate patterns and sensual, erotic women gained a following and many important commissions. A detailed and fascinating study of Klimt and his era illustrated by 370 paintings, sketches and many rare photographs, 135 in color.