“The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt

Closeup of Diamond Art Club rendering of "The Kiss" by Gustav Klimt

My work in progress (“WIP” in diamond painting speak) for summer of 2023 is Diamond Art Club’s rendering of “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt. I chose this piece because it’s an all-time favorite of mine and I love the story of the painting. Best of all, it meets all the requirements for Diamonds and Emeralds‘ diamond painting event, Summer with the Masters.

This rendering is a full drill medium-sized square at 22 inches by 22 inches (56 cm by 56 cm). The kit includes 48,841 square drills in 42 colors, 5 of which are Aurora Borealis (or “AB”) drills. All the basics needed to complete the painting are in the box: a drill tray; an applicator with grip; a set of pointed tweezers; small plastic bags for extra drills; two heart-shaped wax blocks in plastic container; washi tape for sectioning or taping the edges of the pasting area; and stickers with DMC color number and corresponding key symbol for labeling. Additionally, all kits purchased directly from Diamond Art Club include a surprise magnetic cover minder. With this kit, I got a dark teal colored rose.

Picture of original artwork of The Kiss by Gustav Klimt

About the Kiss

“The Kiss” is a renowned painting created by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt between 1907 and 1908. It is one of Klimt’s most famous works and a masterpiece of the Viennese Art Nouveau movement, also known as the Vienna Secession.

“The Kiss” portrays a couple locked in an intimate embrace surrounded by a shimmering golden background. The man and woman are depicted in a stylized manner, with intricate patterns and ornamental elements characteristic of Klimt’s style. The painting measures approximately 180 by 180 centimeters and is primarily composed of oil paint, gold leaf, and silver leaf.

The dominant feature of the painting is the elaborate patterns that cover the figures’ clothing and the background. These patterns, reminiscent of Byzantine mosaics and Japanese art, create a rich and decorative effect, emphasizing the sensuality and passion of the scene. The gold leaf and metallic hues used in the background add a sense of opulence and symbolism to the painting.

The couple’s bodies are intertwined, and the man’s face is obscured as he leans over the woman to kiss her cheek. Furthermore, the woman’s eyes are closed, suggesting a moment of intense emotion and tenderness. The embrace captures the theme of love, desire, and human connection. Klimt’s portrayal of the couple’s closeness and their merging with one another symbolizes the union of two souls in a romantic relationship.

The Significance of “The Kiss”

“The Kiss” represents Klimt’s departure from traditional academic art and his exploration of symbolism, decorative elements, and the human psyche. It reflects his interest in themes of love, sexuality, and the human experience. The painting’s sensuality and symbolism have made it an enduring icon of romantic love and one of the most recognizable artworks in the world.

Today, “The Kiss” is housed in the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere museum in Vienna, Austria, where it continues to captivate viewers with its beauty and emotional power. It has been widely reproduced in various forms, including prints, posters, and other merchandise, further cementing its status as a beloved and iconic piece of art.

About Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent figures of the Vienna Secession movement. He is known for his decorative and ornamental style, often featuring intricate patterns and gold leaf in his works. Influences on Klimt’s art include various artistic movements such as Symbolism, Art Nouveau, and Jugendstil.

Klimt was born on July 14, 1862, in Baumgarten, near Vienna, Austria. He displayed an early talent for drawing and received formal artistic training at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts. Together with his brother Ernst and a fellow artist Franz Matsch, Klimt formed the “Company of Artists,” which executed public commissions for murals and other decorative works.

In the late 1890s, Klimt’s style began to evolve, and he joined the Vienna Secession movement. The movement aimed to break away from the conservative art establishment and promote avant-garde and innovative art forms. Klimt became one of the founding members and the first president of the Vienna Secession in 1897.

About Klimt’s Style & Technique

Klimt’s work during this period is characterized by his sensual and erotic portrayals of women, often depicted with intricate patterns and lavish ornamentation. He explored themes of love, desire, and the female form, and his art was considered scandalous and controversial at the time. Some of his famous works from this period include not only “The Kiss,” but also “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I,” and “Judith.”

One of Klimt’s distinctive techniques was the use of gold leaf in his paintings, which added a luxurious and decorative quality to his works. This technique became synonymous with his style and contributed to his reputation as a master of decorative art.

In addition to his paintings, Klimt also produced numerous sketches, drawings, and graphic artworks. He worked on various public commissions, including murals for the Vienna Burgtheater and the ceiling paintings of the Great Hall in the University of Vienna.

Klimt’s untimely death in 1918 during the Spanish flu pandemic brought an early end to his career. Despite his relatively short artistic career, his influence on modern art was significant. Klimt’s work bridged the gap between traditional and modern styles and paved the way for future artistic developments. Today, his paintings are highly sought after, and his legacy continues to inspire artists and art enthusiasts around the world.

Portrait of artist Gustav Klimt holding a cat

Learn More

Want to know more about diamond painting? Check out our post on the The History of Diamond Art. Want to know more about Gustav Klimt and “The Kiss”? Check out this great video.

Sources

OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT (July 2 version) [Large language model]. https://chat.openai.com/chat

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