Modernism in Vienna
Gustav Klimt was part of Modernist Art movement in Vienna at the beginning of the twentieth century. I cannot pose as a art expert here, I got this from the book The Age of Influence.
During this period, artists mingled freely with the staff from the medical schools, and frequently witnessed autopsies – thus the skull in the background.
Jewish hostesses such as Berta Zucherkandl, who was married to the brilliant anatomist Emil Zucherkandl, the chair of anatomy at the Vienna School of Medicine, held salons in their homes, where people like Klimt, Rodin, Mahler, and Freud often met and exchanged ideas.
This, of course, ended with the Nazis, and the author, Eric R. Kandel, a Nobel Prize winner, had to leave as a small boy. But as he says, his heart still beats in 3/4 time.
Needless to say, this is not respectable art, such as the representational art now on display in Costa Rica.
Freud was not respectable either, but thrived in this atmosphere, where outrageous behavior was expected and normal.
This has now been lost to us forever.