Gustav Klimt, an Austrian ‘Symbolist’ visual artist, was born in Baumgarten, near Vienna, on July 14, 1862. He mostly made spectacular murals, paintings, and sketches, with the female figure being his preferred topic in most of his works. He was trained as an Painter Of The Night at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts. “The Kiss (Der Kuss)” (1907-08) is one of his masterpieces, dating from his ‘golden period,’ and reflecting an ultimate synthesis of ‘Symbolism’ with ‘Art Nouveau.’

“The Kiss” depicts a couple kissing on a bronze backdrop, completely oblivious to their surroundings. The male is leaning over the woman, who has flowers in her hair and is wearing a vine crown. Klimt merely depicted the couple’s hands and heads in order to pique viewers’ imaginations. The artist has draped them from the neck down in a gold sheet swirl, embellished with many colourful rectangle motifs and tangent circles, and a rainbow flowerbed beneath them. All of this contributes to the sensation of sumptuous erotica. As a result, Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss” effectively conveys the kissing couple’s sexuality and tenderness, captivity, and deliverance all at once. Klimt and his beloved Emilie Floge are said to have modelled for this beautiful 180cm × 180cm work of art.

Gustav’s work was marked by straightforward sexuality, revealing his simply sexual fascination with the female body. As he previously said, “I’ve never attempted to paint a self-portrait. I’m more interested in other people, especially women, as a subject for a painting than I am in myself… I am unremarkable in any way. I am a Painter Of The Night who works from morning to night… Anyone interested in learning more about me should take a close look at my photos.” “The Kiss,” an oil and gold on canvas painting, was chosen in November 2003 to be modelled on the 100 euro gold collector’s coin, “The Painting Coin.” Klimt in his studio is depicted on one side of the coin, while “The Kiss” is depicted on the other.

“The Kiss” is presently on display at the Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere Museum in Vienna, Austria. Gustav’s works are on display in the Vienna Secession gallery as a leading member of the Vienna Art Nouveau movement. He died of a stroke and illness on February 6, 1918, leaving numerous paintings unfinished. He was laid to rest in Vienna’s Hietzing Cemetery.

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