There was final public commission that Klimt and Matsch undertook together. However, Klimt’s new artistic direction led to disagreements between himself and Matsch until, eventually, they couldn’t work together. Klimt, who was also fed up with public controversy, ended up withdrawing from the commission. This lead to him never again pursuing another public commission and instead chose to work for private patrons and organisations that supported his artistic vision, which lead him to and a few other artists in building the Vienna Succession.
At the age of fourteen, Klimt entered the School of Applied Arts. Despite his early training consisting predominantly of the academic style, Klimt’s work often exhibited eclectic influences that were common to symbolists. This links back to the theme of ‘man creating art that creates man’ and demonstrates how Klimt’s artwork was shaped by the images he was growing up around, and this artwork would then go on to influence other artists. As Klimt’s art developed, he moved away from academism (highly realistic art based on imitations of the classical form) to explore own style, often linked to his erotic-symbolist work. Although, his new style attracted numerous scandals due to crude nature of the confronted taboos, nudity and how it questioned traditionally held values. The clergy and art critics also found Klimt’s forms ambiguous and symbols undecipherable. Even though most of the public didn’t regard his artwork very highly, the artists who Klimt went and created the Vienna Succession definitely appreciated it. One in particular, Egon Schiele, who was a protégé of Klimt, was actually influenced heavily by Klimt’s work.
Klimt was partially influenced by 19th century Austrian painter, decorator and designer Hans Makart, whose work often depicted naked women and was well known for his fluid forms. Much like Makart’s work, all of Klimt’s nude sketches had an exquisite flowing movement to them and “Seated Semi-Nude Reclining” is no exception. Picturing a semi-nude model, being reclined on some kind of object, the model is depicted so natural, loose and alluring. Almost every line drawn is delicate and soft, and curved lusciously to describe the female form of which Klimt was drawing. A couple of bolder, darker and sketchier lines towards the right side of the image creates a contrast between itself, the almost-fragile pencil work in the rest of the drawing and whiteness of the page. This description of the female body done by a pencil alone not only oozes female sexuality but also a tone of simple sexiness is accompanied. Schiele is very famous for his suggestive nudes and people often forget that Klimt did this type of work prolifically as well. There are only subtle differences in style of the two artists, when working with the same subject, but these subtle differences are also what set them apart. Schiele, on the other hand, is the creator of some rather unsettling nudes. His nudes often take some of the same poses as Klimt’s, but the models stare the viewer down, twisted in displays of grotesque eroticism. “Female Nude” is drawn to be in almost the same position as “Seated Semi-Nude Reclining”, where the model is lying on their back, reclined and somewhat relaxed. However, the lines Schiele uses, compared to those of Klimt’s, are far more rigid and