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Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862-February 6, 1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and a formative figure of international Modernism that emerged at the turn of the century. Klimt was also one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession, a group that worked to support young, emerging, unconventional artists while claiming no single artistic manifesto or style. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects. Though he received public commissions in his early years in Vienna, Klimt's work was met with criticism and rejection. Perceived as pornographic and radical, Klimt's treatment of the female body as his primary subject matter was at times openly erotic, but is now considered masterful. In the first decade of the twentieth century, Klimt entered what is known as his Golden Phase, which was marked by positive critical reaction and success. Many of his paintings from this period (which derived its name from the prominent use of gold leaf in his paintings) are considered beacons of the Art Nouveau period.
View all of Gustav Klimt's work.
While Gustav Klimt is primarily known for his intricate portraits and complex, symbolist backgrounds, Country Garden with Sunflowers demonstrates the artist's range of both his interests and abilities. Still imbued with that signature attention to detail, the oil-on-canvas was painted between 1905 and 1907. Now housed at the Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere in Vienna, Country Garden with Sunflowers was in fact produced during Klimt's so-called Golden Phase, in which he painted some of his most famous and beloved works. Though simple in subject, Klimt's Garden is a beautifully arranged and meticulously executed painting that reveals to its viewers Klimt's wide array of talents as an artist.