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The Kiss by Gustav Klimt analysis of the picture

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The Kiss is one of the most valuable in the market of artworks. It was painted by skilled Gustav Klimt who started his creation in 1907 and ended it in 1908. The idea to create such picture was found during his Italy journey in 1903; he started using the gold background after this trip; the drawing is gold leaf, and for its structure, it is an oil canvas painting. Its size is 180cm of height and 180cm for length; the masterwork is currently located in Austria, Vienna. For anybody who is interested in Art, it is shown at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere.

The Art Movement and the painter as its supporter

Gustav Klimt was a brilliant artist who lived and worked in Austria. He was the part of the Vienna Secession, the movement that he was cofounded and was taking the position of its leader for a certain time. Klimt was a quiet person with a kind of isolated life in his studio and was completely determined by the art. However, his works express the real life and show its liveliness adding exotic bright colors.

Nowadays, Klimt and his paintings are rather famous and well-known. In the previous century though, they were radically disrespected. The reason is hidden in artist’s specific style and depicting the erotic themes that were unacceptable to his contemporaries.

Gustav Klimt hadn’t any followers, so his work still appears as unique, special, and personal. His compositions are tightly correlated with such movements as Surrealism and Expressionism, but because of their remarkable exclusiveness, they can’t be strictly referred to any particular movement.

The meaning of the painting

Most critics stated that the woman’s part in the Kiss is intentionally meek and the men play the dominant role in the act. It is explained by the fact that the woman’s face expresses the passion while the man’s head can’t be seen. Others are convinced that female side wanted to avoid the kiss but couldn’t stand against the love. The kiss reminds that for the lovers there aren’t anyone others existing except themselves. The kiss presents everybody the feeling of separation and distance from the whole surrounding world.

The image stated that both male and female have their qualities that differentiate them from each other and at the first side, they are completely contrasting. However, they can’t exist separately and experience an instinct mutual gravitation. In spite of being opposite image to each other, they are united and became a perfect whole. This is possible when they act as a couple and forget their differences; the Klimt’s drawing recovers the sense of Taoist non-dualism.

It is a reminder of yin and yang which are completely distinct but at the same time perfectly suitable for each other. The Taoism proclaims that there is always the strict connection between two opposites. For instance, there are such correlations as female and male, black and white or death and life. One can observe in the drawing the absolute contact between the two people as they are touching at every single point.

The Kiss also states the idea of impossibility for the human to exist separately from nature. This can be explained with tiny flowers on the bottom of the image which cover couple’s knees. The flowers are also inserted in woman’s hair. This floral background wraps up the people in nature and symbolizes that the couple is an external part of it.

The composition and techniques

Painting the Kiss Gustav Klimt pictured a portrait of two people, male and female, passionately kissing each other. They are exotically dressed, and their clothes are richly beautified with the decorations; he took the gold color to create a vivid image; from the other colors, he chose mostly brown, green and yellow. Gold leafing is also used for the background to create an effect of depth.

Among all variety of techniques, Klimt used fresco, oil painting, and mosaic techniques. The composition hasn’t
strict lines and is full of spirals and whirls. The artist was struggling to bring the sense of intimacy and passion to his painting; he was able to do this by choosing the technique of the Byzantine mosaics. Klimt gave the world his explanation of love.


  • “Review Of Gustav Klimts The Kiss English Literature Essay.” UKEssays, www.ukessays.com/essays/english-literature/review-of-gustav-klimts-the-kiss-english-literature-essay.php.
  • “Gustav Klimt.” Sample Essays, 16 Sept. 2016, newyorkessays.com/essay-gustav-klimt/.
  • “‘Gustav Klimt’ Essays and Research Papers.” StudyMode – Premium and Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes, www.studymode.com/subjects/gustav-klimt-page1.html.
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