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The Kiss, c.1907 (detail)

"The Kiss" c. 1907 Austrian iconoclast Gustav Klimt (1862 – 1918) triumphed over childhood poverty to significantly influence the Viennese Secession and Art Nouveau movement. Klimt’s elaborate, explicitly sensual works expressed themes of regeneration, love and death, and incorporated Egyptian, Classical Greek, Byzantine and Medieval styles. Klimt also utilized symbols representing art’s liberation from traditional culture. He helped to lay the groundwork for Art Deco and Modernism.