Gustav Klimt, The Kiss

Gustav Klimt, The Kiss is an oil painting on canvas with additional gold leaf, silver and platinum enhancements. Created by the Austrian Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt. It was painted between 1907 and 1908, during the height of what scholars call his “Golden Period”. It was exhibited in 1908 under the title Liebespaar as stated in the catalogue of the exhibition. The painting portrays a couple embracing each other, their bodies intertwined, dressed in sumptuous beautiful robes adorned in a style influenced by the contemporary Art Nouveau style and the organic forms of the preceding Arts and Crafts movement. The painting now hangs in the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere museum in Vienna, and is established as a masterpiece of Vienna Secession style, Klimt’s striking canvas brought the emotion of love and symbolism to the whole world.

Date: 1908

Artist: Gustav Klimt

Location: Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Austria

Periods: Vienna Secession, Art Nouveau

Media: Gold Leaf on Oil Paint

Dimensions 70.9 in × 70.9 in 180 cm × 180 cm

The Austrian artist Gustav Klimt shared his “Golden period” to the entire world. He was able to create abundant art works that suggested love, passion and beauty. This can be seen through one of his famous artwork The Kiss.

In 1903, Klimt travelled two times to Ravenna, where he saw the mosaics of San Vitale, whose Byzantine influence was obvious. The use of gold harked back to Klimt’s own past, to the metal work of his father and younger brother Ernst, who had both died a decade earlier. Klimt’s awareness in the Byzantine period also symbolized a move towards greater stability, through static, inorganic forms; signifying a search for refuge after the artist’s exploration of the instinctual powers of archaic Greece. The Kiss signifying the apex of his “Golden Period,” this concludes parallel thematic studies during his career, such as The Beethoven Frieze, and The Tree of Life. Each work aids the final understanding of the story, which represents the mystical union of spiritual and erotic love and the absorption of the individual with the eternal cosmos.

Category: Art critique  Tags:
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