Painting Romance part #1: In honor of Valentine’s Day, I plan to highlight a few romantic paintings this week and give you some juicy details.
by Gustov Klimt
“Wearing extravagant, multicolored robes that seem to merge into each other, the lovers embrace on a small patch of grass, carpeted with an improbable profusion of flowers.
The setting is pure fantasy. “
Created at the height of Klimt’s career and influenced by the then present Art Nouveau movement, The Kiss is an example of Klimt’s fascination with the human embrace.
The embrace: The mysterious pose looks almost painful and unnatural, but may be influenced by Symbolist art which made the “severed head” fashionable. (I might have to look into this strange art movement next Halloween).
The Setting: “The Kiss remains an ambivalent picture. The embrace appears to take place beside an abyss, with the woman’s feet dangling over the edge. Is Klimt hinting that both love and passion are precarious, and perhaps even dangerous?” It does appear that the woman’s (out of proportion) toes are clinging to the edge of the abyss.
The Gold: Something that caused this painting (along with the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I) to really appeal to me was the beautiful use of gold leaf. Just a gorgeous array of colors and a gaudy treat for the eyes. During this high point in his “golden period”, his interest in mosaics looks to have influenced the creation of “wildly extravagant, patterned clothing, so that they almost seemed to disappear into their voluminous robes.”
The more I look at this painting, the more I love it. It just feels nice, doesn’t it?
More romantic art coming soon . . .
All quotations are from:
Great Paintings: the world’s masterpieces explored and explained
by Karen Hosack Janes