|A detail of "The Kiss" by Gustav Klimpt|
One hundred years ago on 6th February 1918, the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt passed away in Vienna after having suffered a stroke and pneumonia, one of the many millions of victims of the worldwide influenza epidemic that year. He left a rich body of artistic output that established him as one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement, and, today, as among the most well-known artists in the history of art.
The period was so-called because of Klimt’s frequent use in these years of gold-leaf in his compositions: and of these works perhaps none is more famous than The Kiss.
Painted between 1907 and 1908, upon a perfectly square canvas (180 × 180 cm), the work depicts a couple locked in intimate embrace, their clothes and surrounding landscape exquisitely rendered in two dimensional pattern: the man in a smock of rectilinear shapes, the woman in a dress of softer floral forms, behind them a swathe of textured gold, and beneath a bed of colorful flowers. To celebrate the centenary of his death, here is a selection of close-ups from the painting. –By Public Domain Review.
The Kiss is currently on display at The Österreichische Galerie Belvedere (below) is a museum housed in the Belvedere palace, in Vienna, Austria. The Belvedere palaces were the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy.
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