Like all of Gustav Klimt’s work, “The Kiss” glows with gilded erotic imagery amid swirls of flamboyant ornamentation. One of Klimt’s most inspired works, “The Kiss” submerges most of the couple’s bodies in vast golden waves, representing the melding of selves experienced by lovers. An Austrian iconoclast, Klimt (1862 – 1918) rose from childhood poverty to become an artist who significantly impacted the Viennese Secession and Art Nouveau styles.
Austrian iconoclast Gustav Klimt (1862 – 1918) triumphed over childhood poverty to significantly influence the Viennese Secession and Art Nouveau movement. Klimt’s elaborate, explicitly sensual works expressed themes of regeneration, love and death, and incorporated Egyptian, Classical Greek, Byzantine and Medieval styles. Klimt also utilized symbols representing art’s liberation from traditional culture. Laying the groundwork for Art Deco and Modernism, Klimt’s creative influence can still be seen in today’s art, decorations and jewelry.