Gustav Klimt the Kiss
Today is Saint Valentines Day! My post is planned especially for love. Gustav Klimt’s Kiss is one of the most well-known paintings in the world. The Kiss (In German: Der Kuss) was painted by the Austrian Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt between 1907 and 1908, the highpoint of his “Golden Period”, when he painted a number of works in a similar gilded style.
I have always wondered about this painting. I never really got it. When I looked at it, I would see blocks of brown and gold paint, red circles and a blue face; just plain weirdness. Over time I have become to love it! After a more serious study of the famous painting I came to a more sophisticated interpretation. It could be that I am more mature than before! I think there is so much hidden in the painting and it is fun to look for them.
At first you notice the woman’s face. She is calm and at peace; taking in the sensation. The blue tinge around her nose symbolized her breath almost as if she is holding it, not wanting to exhale the desire. The man’s face is buried in her loving cheek. They are surrounded by flowers; Swirling, round, colorful flowers and green foliage is a symbol of pure love. The painting is a timeless emotion; the lovers are lost in the moment while the golden cloak gives them warmth and is part of their being. I found it interesting that the hands are so real while the most of the painting is abstract. I think the artist wanted to convey that this was something he wanted to hold on to and not let go. I also loved that the painting is covered with rich golden colors. The gold gives a sense of romance, adoration and even eroticism not to mention love.
Can you relate to this painting? It is a feeling of love and passion. One that is so strong it melts the rest of reality into one. Close your eyes and bring to mind a kiss you have received that made you feel this way. Looking at the painting brings me back to a most special moment in my life. A very long time ago we drove up to the mountains at midnight see the Perseid meteor shower in august. I will never forget that night. We held each other and watched the shooting stars fly across the sky. We kissed a lot too. Thinking back I did feel covered by a golden cloak with fresh flowers surrounding us. We held on to that moment as long as we could, until the sun came up. That was my first feeling of real love for someone else. That time and place will forever be in my heart. This painting encompasses that feeling of being held in time, a feeling of lost in a lovely moment.
The painting is real and abstract. Take the flowers and the mosaic and swirls flowing; expressing feeling. But the faces and hands are painted real; holding on to the moment not wanting to let it go. It is beautiful and even lovelier when you can recall a time like that for yourself. That is why I love this painting and any painting that brings us to a place in our memories.
I hope you can find a time in place like this, especially for Valentine ’s Day.
I am dedicating my study of the Kiss and the blog post to my loving hubby, Ron. The mountain kiss was so long ago but we have many more to come.
Please leave a comment about your kiss.
Here are links to related website:
Wall Street Journal article about Klimt:
Seattle Times Article about the Metor Shower: