Subota, 20 Novembar 2021 12:06

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt embodies a range of artistic styles in a remarkably harmonious way Istaknut

The Kiss (detail) The Kiss (detail)

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt is one of the most iconic paintings from the Art Nouveau period. Klimt reached the apex of his signature style—a fusion of the linear compositions of Art Nouveau, the organic forms of the Arts and Crafts movement, and his interest in human passions. The couple on painting are entwined and their two figures and encompassed by a golden shroud, covered in gilded, Art Nouveau style patterns, creating a very sensual, atmospheric composition. Several other schools of art were an inspiration for this painting.

Gustav Klimt explored the human relationship which brought the painting The Kiss to life. The use of gold leaf is traced back to Klimt's affinity for Byzantine art. His inspiration was brought on by his trip to Italy in 1903, where he saw the Byzantine mosaics by the Church of San Vitale. The Kiss is Klimt's artistic response to the Byzantine mosaics at Ravenna, Italy, which so profoundly affected him. Also, the Byzantine mosaics gave him a new perspective when it came to using flatness and depth which brought a whole new style to the color. For Klimt, the two-dimensional nature of the mosaics only enhanced the brilliant effect of the gold.

A major influence on the composition of The Kiss was Japanese woodblock prints, of which Klimt was an avid collector. Their influence is most notable in the position of the figures, who appear confined to the central section of the canvas, with their heads almost touching the top of the canvas which recalls the techniques of the Japanese wood-block prints. The Japonisme can also be seen in the very simplified composition.

The painting The Kiss depicts a couple kissing each other in a field of flowers, wrapped in a golden cloak whose contrasting patterns reflect the Arts and Crafts design movement of the era. The man's cloak is delineated with a bright gold halo and dominant pattern a black and white chessboard of rectangles. The woman's dress is covered in an equally graphic pattern of voluptuous circles. These soft shapes reflect her soft abandon and the typical Art Nouveau style. The spiral patterns in the clothes recall Bronze Age art, the decorative tendrils seen in Western art since before classical times, and also the Arts and Crafts design movement. The pose of the lovers, the exaggeration of their figures, and the way these two forms are melded together, evoke the style of the Vienna Art Nouveau. At the same time, the background evokes the conflict between two- and three-dimensionality intrinsic to the work of Edgar Degas and other modernists.

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