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“The Kiss” - Sensual Artwork

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If you can not please everyone with your deeds and your art, please a few

Klimt is one of the most famous Austrian painter, representative of Vienna Jugendstil, Viennese Art Nouveau. The motives from his paintings can be seen on every step in Vienna. Among his artworks the most famous is “The Kiss”, portrait of the two lovers, united through a kiss. This article will be dedicated to this cult painting that is on display in Vienna.

©Unknown
©Unknown

The work is prime example of Klimt's "Golden Period" composed of oil paint with applied layers of gold leaf, which would become his signature style. It is inspired by the Byzantine mosaics that he'd seen on his journey to Ravenna. It is not clear who is portrayed on the painting and it cannot be unequivocally attributed to a particular person. However, many art historians claim that it portraits artist himself with his life companion Emilie Louise Flöge. Painting itself represents departure from his major theme female portraits and includes man.

©Unknown
©Unknown

Klimt created this work in a time of creative crisis, when he was doubting his work. He wrote in a letter: "Either I am too old, or too nervous, or too stupid - there must be something wrong." Before creating this work, Klimt had received critic for his three-part University of Vienna Ceiling Paintings. Because of the nudity in these works they were mocked as "pornography" and "perverted excess".

First thing that surprises when seeing the work for the first time is that it's really big, almost 2m by 2m. Belvedere Museum purchased the Kiss before it was finished, and it was even on display unfinished. Klimt received 240 thousand today’s US$ for painting. If it was sold today it would probably be one of the most, if not the most expensive paintings ever sold. His painting “Golden lady” portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I sold for record 135 million US$ in 2006 and at that time that was the highest sum ever paid for a painting. This painting is very famous, but still regarded as the less renowned, than “The Kiss”

©iStock/Freeartist
©iStock/Freeartist

The Kiss can still be seen in the Belvedere Museum in the Belvedere palace, Vienna.


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The author

Ogi Savic

Ogi Savic

I am Ogi. A journalist and economist, I live in Vienna and I am passionate about skiing, traveling, good food and drinks. I write about all these aspects (and more) of beautiful Austria.

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