In this and other schemes, he worked in collaboration with his brother Ernst (1864 - 1892) and Franz Matsch (1861 - 1942), who had been fellow students at the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Applied Art) in Vienna.
In spite of his official academic successes, Klimit was drawn to avant-garde art, and he came under the influence of Impressionism, Symbolism, and Art Nouveau.
Discontent with the conservative attitudes of the Viennese Artists' Association led him and a group of friends to resign in 1897 and set up their own organization, the Sezession, of which he was elected President.
His role as a leader of the avant-garde was confirmed when his allegorical mural paintings for Vienna University (1900 - 3) aroused great hostility, being called nonsensical and pornographic.
He abandonned the commission in 1905 and the paintings were destroyed by fire in 1945.
Although official commissions dried up after this he continued to be much in demand with private patrons, as a portraitist as well as a painter of mythological and allegorical themes.
He was highly responsive to female beauty (he was a great womanizer) and in both his portraits and his subject pictures he stresses the allure and mystery of womanhood. Notable examples are the magnificent full-length portrait of Emilie Floge (his sister-in-law and mistress) in the Historisches Museum der Stadt, Vienna (1902) and Judith 1 (Osterreichische Galerie, Vienna, 1901), one of the archetypal images of the femme fatale.
Characteristically, the figures in Klimit's paintings are treated more or less naturalistically but embellished....in the background or their clothing.....with richly decorative patterns recalling butterfly or peacock wings, creating a sensuality.
His work was particularly influential on Kokoschka and Schiele.
It is in this region that fine reproductions are still woven.
This replica on canvas of the famous 1901 painting is absolutely breathtaking.
It won the Medal of Honor for artist Paul Chabas at the Paris Salon of 1912.
When it arrived in the U.S. for sale, it created a storm of controversy.
The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice ordered its removal from display, but the notoriety actually helped assure its popularity and its place as one of the most reproduced paintings in history.
It is in a style based on contemporary French painting and the 17th century Italian masters.