This is a work that unites pictorial resources with typical mosaic elements, although it is all painted in oil on a large 180 x 180 cm square canvas. Gustav Klimt made it in 1907 and 1908 and it is currently kept in the Austrian Gallery in Vienna.
This image denotes the multiple artistic influences that the Austrian painter Klimt took into account, who together with Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka, forms the most important triad of the trend that has been called the Vienna Sezession.
Gustav Klimt's Kiss
The background of the painting, in golden tones, is made up of a set of spirals, very similar to those that can be seen in the mosaics of the Byzantine and Russian religious icons of the Orthodox religion. While in the foreground and in the lower part you can see a meadow with flowers that serves as a base, almost a plinth for the figures of the lovers. Actually, this small flowery meadow is part of the message of the work, since the author cuts it very abruptly, as if the two lovers were on the edge of the precipice.
Some art historians have interpreted the two characters depicted as being Klimt himself and his friendEmile Flöge, a contemporary fashion saleswoman and clothing designer, for which Gustav Klimt also made some design. And there is also another painting preserved inVienna, although this time at the city's Municipal History Museum, where he did a large portrait of Emile Flöge.
In fact, identifying the woman who stars in The Kiss, with this Emile, has given rise to many speculations, such as that she rejected Klimt's aggressiveness and passionate love, turning his face away from her. And that even the painter knew that this relationship was not going to lead anywhere, or rather it was going to be very negative for both of them, and that is why he places the two characters on the brink of the abyss.
Pictorically, this painting is one of his best-known works, and without a doubt one of the greatest examples of the golden age, where the decorative sense of painting predominates, a decorativism achieved from the entire set of sinuous lines that form the background, the flowery meadow and the protagonists' dresses.
Another characteristic of Klimt's painting is that he completely forgets to pose any type of perspective, he seeks the two-dimensionality of the image.
And finally, one of the peculiarities of Gustav Klimt's work is theeroticismthat he transmits. If we observe, despite the decoration of the woman's dress and the apparent shapeless group formed by man and woman, at a second glance her curved and sensual lines are clearly discovered. And there are even those who see in the work a perfect expression of the eternal love between both sexes, with a clear domination by the man and a surrender of it.
As you can see there are different interpretations ofthis work, which is undoubtedly one of Klimt's great successes, since he bequeathed us a set of works in which the viewer's reading of his paintings is very important.