What were the major artistic influences on the work of Gustave Klimt?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Gustave Klimt was a fin de siecle Viennese artist who is generally considered part of the Symbolist Movement. Although his early training was in the predominant academic style, his work exhibits the eclectic influences common to the Symbolists. As a leading member of the Vienna Succession he was actively engaged with other artists of his period.

His hallmark "gold phase" was strongly influenced by Byzantine art; there are striking similarities to the Byzantine mosaics of Ravenna, and Egyptian influences are also prminent. In his use of layering small blocks of colour, taking mythic themes, and mixing realistic faces with highly artificial ornamental clothing and backgrounds, Klimt exhibits strong similarities to the works of Gustave Moreau, a slightly earlier French painter.

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