Gustav Klimt and Vienna's Golden Age

Ref: C3675825

By the 1880s, Vienna as the centre of the Hapsburg Empire, was at a cultural crossroads; the modern world increasingly demanding inclusion. The new cultural developments revolved around The Secession, a group of artists determined to introduce more exciting, international and controversial elements into their art work. Leading this group was Gustav Klimt, whose style developed from the academic, in portraiture and allegorical subjects to increasingly reflect the modern, especially in his wide ranging depiction of women, which reflected his personal life and the sometimes scandalous nature of Viennese high society.

Course aim

To familiarise students with the cultural environment of Vienna which enabled the flourishing of the arts at the turn of the century, with specific reference to Gustav Klimt, his art and life.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • have a better appreciation of Gustav Klimt's contribution to world art and culture
  • relate his art to the cultural milieu of Vienna before the Great War
  • also be aware of a number of other artists working in a comparable way at the same time in German speaking countries

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • illustrated lectures with discussion throughout

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • any reading relating to Vienna, Klimt and The Secession would be an advantage

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member

Download full course information sheet

Gustav Klimt and Vienna's Golden Age

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This course is not available for online enrolment.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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