The Kiss

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. 

The Kiss

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. “

the Kiss Gustav_Klimt_016

The Kiss, Gustav Klimt

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 . . . 

Great-Paintings-The-Worlds-Masterpieces-Explored-and-Explained 

All quotations are from:
Great Paintings: the world’s masterpieces explored and explained
by 
Karen Hosack Janes

 

What is it about Van Gogh?

“I cannot help that my pictures do not sell. Nevertheless the time will come when people will see
that they are worth more than the price of the paints and my own living.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh

red-vineyard-vincent-van-gogh

Out of Vincent Van Gogh’s 900+ paintings, “Red Vineyard” (pictured here) is the only painting that sold in his lifetime. Here is a man who painted because he was compelled to do so. Not for money, fame or even the respect of his peers. He painted for the sheer joy and drive of the act of painting itself. That is what is so intriguing to me about Van Gogh. I recently visited the Met, and I surprised myself by wanting to locate Van Gogh’s work before any other artist. Not because I think he was an amazing artist, but I think he had the heart of an artist. I felt a connection the  more I read about his life and work. 

He went against the accepted techniques and subjects of his day. He shamefully didn’t hide his brushstrokes when it was expected that the most skilled artists create as smooth a painting as possible. He painted ordinary objects when his fellow artists only painted what was beautiful. He painted the way he thought he should paint not based on his sales or the opinions of others. His work was shocking and undesirable but he kept on painting. Perhaps this is why his work is sought after, today.

He was a radical with a brush.