Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and a key figure in the Art Nouveau movement. Born in Baumgarten, near Vienna, Klimt co-founded the Vienna Secession, an avant-garde group seeking to break away from conservative artistic traditions. His distinctive style, characterized by ornate patterns, gold leaf, and symbolism, is evident in masterpieces such as "The Kiss" and "The Tree of Life." Klimt's cultural impact extends beyond his artistic innovation; he challenged societal norms with his provocative and sensual depictions, exploring themes of love, sexuality, and the human psyche. His influence on the Viennese art scene and the broader European Symbolist movement remains profound, marking him as a visionary artist who shaped the course of modern art.