Ten artists —> 9. Gustav Klimt (1862-1918)

Born near Vienna in Austria-Hungary in 1862, Gustav Klimt was the son of a former gold engraver and an amateur musician. He became one of the founding members of the Vienna Secession group, whose goal it was to exhibit the different talents and styles of upcoming artists. Inspired perhaps by his father’s work with gold and the beautiful gold leaf coloring in ancient Byzantine art, Klimt became known for his delicately rendered paintings which remain popular today—his painting Der Kuss (The Kiss) is one of the most iconic works of modern art. He painted numerous works in his lifetime, including many more conventionally academic paintings in his earlier years.