The Kiss (1907–1908) by Gustav Klimt

The Kiss - Gustav Klimt - 1907 - 1908

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Artwork Information

TitleThe Kiss
ArtistGustav Klimt
Date1907 - 1908
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions180 x 180 cm
Art MovementArt Nouveau
Current LocationBelvedere, Vienna, Austria

About The Kiss

“The Kiss” is a renowned artwork by the artist Gustav Klimt, created during the years 1907 to 1908. This oil on canvas masterpiece measures 180 x 180 cm and epitomizes the Art Nouveau movement. Characterized as a genre painting, the artwork is housed in the Belvedere museum in Vienna, Austria.

The artwork captures an intimate moment between two figures, cloaked in an elaborately patterned robe that blends into a background shimmering with gold leaf—a signature feature of Klimt’s “Golden Phase.” The use of gold is not only symbolic of the divine and the precious but also adds a luxurious quality to the painting. The male figure is depicted embracing the female figure, whose body contours are draped with colorful, floral motifs.

While the faces are softly modeled and convey a dreamlike expression, the rest of the composition is covered with intricate, geometric decoration. The contrast between the fluidity of the figures’ embrace and the strict geometry of their surroundings creates a powerful visual experience, underscoring the Art Nouveau style’s fascination with organic forms and intricate patterns. The ground beneath them is a flurry of floral abstraction, contributing to the sense of opulence and sensual allure that the painting exudes.

In “The Kiss,” Klimt has masterfully blended the boundaries between two- and three-dimensionality, as the lovers seem to emerge from the flat golden plane, highlighting the transition from the tangible to the ethereal within moments of intimacy. The artwork stands as a testament to the aesthetic attitudes of its time and remains one of the most popular and widely recognized pieces of early 20th-century European art.

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