Klimt visited Venice and Ravenna, both famous for their mosaics, that in turn would have inspired his most famous and successful artworks, – his golden phase. Paintings such as Judith II 1909, The Kiss 1907, Baby (Cradle) 1917, Death and Life 1910.
His ornate paintings have brought some of the highest prices recorded for individual artworks “In November 2003, Klimt’s Landhaus am Attersee sold for $29,128,000, but that was soon eclipsed by prices paid for other Klimts. In 2006 the artist’s Apple Tree I (ca. 1912) sold for $33 million and Birch Forest (1903) sold for $40.3 million.” – (http://www.klimtgallery.org/biography.html date accessed )
Just recently, in March “The painting, titled Bauerngarten, which was competed for by four bidders according to Sotheby’s, was sold for an above-forecast £48m, or almost $60m” – (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/gustav-klimt-sothebys-sells-48-million-record-price-auction-painting-fine-art-market-a7607221.html)
These record prices I believe are not only as a result of his fashionable and critically acclaimed golden period, but because of his Romantic symbols and hopeful visions.
Baby (Cradle) 1917
Detail of Death and Life 1910