Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), painting genius and pioneer of the Modern era around 1900, would have celebrated his 150th birthday in 2012.
Klimt spent most of his life in Vienna. His best-known painting "The Kiss" can now be seen at the Vienna Belvedere. And this particular Kiss changed the world. The picture and Gustav Klimt stand for the Modern era, an epoch that was trendsetting.
Klimt revolutionized the art of painting. His pictures decorated with gold ornaments are amongst the most expensive in the world today. His extraordinary portraits of women document the rise of the middle classes. Artistically, Klimt's work reflects the journey from the "Ringstrasse era" to the beginnings of abstraction. His works generated a lot of criticism in Austria; abroad, the artist won numerous prizes. Klimt died in Vienna from a stroke in 1918. His works continue to fascinate to this day.