Gustav Klimt - The KissOil on canvas, 1908/09, 180 × 180 cm, Austrian Gallery Belvedere in Vienna

Everything is illuminated


Description and interpretation of the famous painting 'The kiss' by Gustav Klimt!

Gustav Klimt - The Kiss

We all know it - Gustav Klimt's golden painting "The Kiss". Measuring 180 x 180 cm, it is a classic square - a rare format - in the middle of which a man and a woman are arranged. Interpretations according to which Klimt himself and his long-standing partner Emilie Flögge can be seen here are not entirely convincing.

In Art Nouveau, for which this painting represents a major work, canvas life became decorative. Here too, a kiss is not just a kiss, but is embedded in a pompous, golden environment; an ornamental flower meadow climbs into the picture from the left. Strictly speaking, the original title of the painting "A Lovers" was more appropriate, since the man only gives the woman a kiss on her cheek and is it allowed to argue about the lady's state of mind - is it devotion? Is it subservience?

The girl kneels, her head is tilted backwards and her eyes are closed. With her right arm she embraces the man's shoulders. He, on the other hand, stands and has drawn the woman's face towards his with both hands. This distinction between active and passive poles is also supported by the ornaments - these appear clearer and harder on the left side, softer and more playful on the right. Both sexes are also separated in their forms - in the kiss that surrounds them in gold, they find unity.

© the artinspector / alexandra tuschka