Happy Birthday Gustav Klimt!! Mentioned yesterday, Gustav Klimt was born in Austria in 1862 and is considered by most to be Austria’s most talented artist. He was a painter, muralist, designer and member of the Vienna Secession group of artists at the turn of the century. He also was commissioned to create several murals, some of which were not displayed at the time, due to their explicit sexual content. Klimt is best known for his use of gold leaf decorative touches in his paintings. His finest work is considered to be The Kiss, which I can attest is spectacular! The gold opulence adds to the sensuous quality of his paintings from his “Gold Phase”. Exhibited in the Gallery at the Belvedere Palace, Vienna, Austria, it is said to display Gustav Klimt’s exploration of the transformative power of love. It deviates from his usual depiction of the woman as femme fatale. Here we see the touching mutual embrace of the couple, obviously in love, their ornately patterned costumes set off by the bronze background.