Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 - February 6, 1918) was an Austrian Symbolist painter who became known for the highly decorative and erotic nature of his works. He was a prominent member of the Viennese Art Nouveau Movement and a leader of the The Vienna Secession, which broke with the traditional academic art of his era.

Klimt spent many summers painting at Lake Altersee. These summer landscapes account for one quarter of all his paintings. The artist chose simple motifs: gardens, meadows with fruit trees, farmhouses surrounded by lush vegetation, and details of the lake and its shoreline. Unlike traditional landscapes, these paintings were designed and organized in the flat picture plane. They capture the details of the shoreline as viewed with a "viewfinder", initially a simple piece of cardboard with a hole cut out of it, and later an ivory plate or an opera glass. This creates pictures that are free of tension, conveying a meditative tranquility in which time seems to be standing still.