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The Kiss (Bacio), Oil by Gustav Klimt (1862-1918, Austria) (buy Framed Print/order Framed Giclee/order Print on canvas)

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 Gustav Klimt
Gustav Klimt was born in Austria in 1862. His father was a gold engraver and, though the family never had much money, Klimt had dreams of becoming an artist. It was in 1876 that Klimt received a scholarship to attend the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts where he studied as an architectural painter. Though at first Klimt painted in a very academic style, that was soon to change. After the death of his father and brother we begin to see a shift in Klimt’s style as it becomes more akin to the later works for which he is most famous. In 1908 Klimt was one of the founding members of the Vienna Secession. This was a group with no single artistic style to pursue or even any kind of a manifesto they followed. Instead, the Vienna Secession was a group of artists whose goal it was, was to find and provide exhibition spaces for young and unconventional artists. Realists, Symbolists, such as Klimt himself, and many other various artists came together to display their work and promote their craft.
[Page - Gustav Klimt - 4Ko]

Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862– February 6, 1918) was an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism—nowhere is this more apparent than in his numerous drawings in pencil.

Gustav Klimt was born in Baumgarten, near Vienna in Austria-Hungary, the second of seven children—three boys and four girls. All three sons displayed artistic talent early on. Klimt's younger brothers were Ernst Klimt and Georg Klimt. His father, Ernst Klimt the Elder, formerly from Bohemia, was a gold engraver. Ernst married Anna Klimt (née Finster), whose unrealized ambition was to be a musical performer. Klimt lived in poverty for most of his childhood, as work was scarce and economic advancement was difficult for immigrants.

In 1876, Klimt was awarded a scholarship to the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts (Kunstgewerbeschule), where he studied until 1883, and received training as an architectural painter. He revered the foremost history painter of the time, Hans Makart. Klimt readily accepted the principles of a conservative training; his early work may be classified as academic. In 1877 his brother Ernst, who, like his father, would become an engraver, also enrolled in the school. The two brothers and their friend Franz Matsch began working together; by 1880 they had received numerous commissions as a team they called the "Company of Artists", and helped their teacher in painting murals in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Klimt began his professional career painting interior murals and ceilings in large public buildings on the Ringstraße including a successful series of "Allegories and Emblems".

In 1888, Klimt received the Golden order of Merit from Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria for his contributions to murals painted in the Burgtheater in Vienna. He also became an honorary member of the University of Munich and the University of Vienna. In 1892 both Klimt's father and brother Ernst died, and he had to assume financial responsibility for his father's and brother's families. The tragedies affected his artistic vision as well, and soon he would veer toward a new personal style. In the early 1890s, Klimt met Emilie Flöge, who, notwithstanding the artist's relationships with other women, was to be his companion until the end of his life. Whether his relationship with Flöge was sexual or not is debated, but during that period Klimt fathered at least 14 children.

Klimt became one of the founding members and president of the Wiener Sezession (Vienna Secession) in 1897 and of the group's periodical Ver Sacrum ("Sacred Spring"). He remained with the Secession until 1908. The group's goals were to provide exhibitions for unconventional young artists, to bring the best foreign artists' works to Vienna, and to publish its own magazine to showcase members' work. The group declared no manifesto and did not set out to encourage any particular style—Naturalists, Realists, and Symbolists all coexisted. The government supported their efforts and gave them a lease on public land to erect an exhibition hall. The group's symbol was Pallas Athena, the Greek goddess of just causes, wisdom, and the arts—and Klimt painted his radical version in 1898.

In 1894, Klimt was commissioned to create three paintings to decorate the ceiling of the Great Hall in the University of Vienna. Not completed until the turn of the century, his three paintings, Philosophy, Medicine and Jurisprudence were criticized for their radical themes and material, which was called "pornographic". Klimt had transformed traditional allegory and symbolism into a new language which was more overtly sexual, and hence more disturbing. The public outcry came from all quarters—political, aesthetic, and religious. As a result, they were not displayed on the ceiling of the Great Hall. This would be the last public commission accepted by the artist. All three paintings were destroyed by retreating SS forces in May 1945. His Nuda Verita (1899) defined his bid to further shake up the establishment. The starkly naked red-headed woman holds the mirror of truth, while above it is a quotation by Schiller in stylized lettering, "If you cannot please everyone with your deeds and your art, please a few. To please many is bad."

In 1902, Klimt finished the Beethoven Frieze for the 14th Vienna Secessionist exhibition, which was intended to be a celebration of the composer and featured a monumental, polychromed sculpture by Max Klinger. Meant for the exhibition only, the frieze was painted directly on the walls with light materials. After the exhibition the painting was preserved, although it did not go on display until 1986. The face on the Beethoven portrait resembled the composer and Vienna Court Opera director Gustav Mahler, with whom Klimt had a respectful relationship.

During this period Klimt did not confine himself to public commissions. Beginning in the late 1890s he took annual summer holidays with the Flöge family on the shores of Attersee and painted many of his landscapes there. Klimt was largely interested in painting figures; these works constitute the only genre aside from figure-painting which seriously interested Klimt. Klimt's Attersee paintings are of a number and quality so as to merit a separate appreciation. Formally, the landscapes are characterized by the same refinement of design and emphatic patterning as the figural pieces. Deep space in the Attersee works is so efficiently flattened to a single plane, it is believed that Klimt painted them while looking through a telescope.

Klimt's 'Golden Phase' was marked by positive critical reaction and success. Many of his paintings from this period used gold leaf; the prominent use of gold can first be traced back to Pallas Athene (1898) and Judith I (1901), although the works most popularly associated with this period are the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907) and The Kiss (1907–1908). Klimt travelled little but trips to Venice and Ravenna, both famous for their beautiful mosaics, most likely inspired his gold technique and his Byzantine imagery. In 1904, he collaborated with other artists on the lavish Palais Stoclet, the home of a wealthy Belgian industrialist, which was one of the grandest monuments of the Art Nouveau age. Klimt's contributions to the dining room, including both Fulfillment and Expectation, were some of his finest decorative work, and as he publicly stated, "probably the ultimate stage of my development of ornament." Between 1907 and 1909, Klimt painted five canvases of society women wrapped in fur. His apparent love of costume is expressed in the many photographs of Flöge modeling clothing he designed.

As he worked and relaxed in his home, Klimt normally wore sandals and a long robe with no undergarments. His simple life was somewhat cloistered, devoted to his art and family and little else except the Secessionist Movement, and he avoided café society and other artists socially. Klimt's fame usually brought patrons to his door, and he could afford to be highly selective. His painting method was very deliberate and painstaking at times and he required lengthy sittings by his subjects. Though very active sexually, he kept his affairs discreet and he avoided personal scandal.

Klimt wrote little about his vision or his methods. He wrote mostly postcards to Flöge and kept no diary. In a rare writing called "Commentary on a non-existent self-portrait", he states "I have never painted a self-portrait. I am less interested in myself as a subject for a painting than I am in other people, above all women...There is nothing special about me. I am a painter who paints day after day from morning to night...Who ever wants to know something about me... ought to look carefully at my pictures."

In 1911 his painting Death and Life received first prize in the world exhibitions in Rome. In 1915 his mother Anna died. Klimt died three years later in Vienna on February 6, 1918, having suffered a stroke and pneumonia due to the influenza epidemic of that year. He was buried at the Hietzing Cemetery in Vienna. Numerous paintings were left unfinished.

Klimt's paintings have brought some of the highest prices recorded for individual works of art. In November 2003, Klimt's Landhaus am Attersee sold for $29,128,000, but that was soon eclipsed by prices paid for other Klimts.

In 2006, the 1907 portrait, Adele Bloch-Bauer I, was purchased for the Neue Galerie New York by Ronald Lauder for a reported US $135 million, surpassing Picasso's 1905 Boy With a Pipe (sold May 5, 2004 for $104 million), as the highest reported price ever paid for a painting. On August 7, 2006, Christie's auction house announced it was handling the sale of the remaining four works by Klimt that were recovered by Maria Altmann and her co-heirs after their long legal battle against Austria. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II was sold at auction in November 2006 for $88 million, the third-highest priced piece of art at auction at the time. The Apple Tree I (ca. 1912) sold for $33 million, Birch Forest (1903) sold for $40.3 million, and Houses in Unterach on Lake Atter (1916) sold for $31 million. Collectively, the five restituted paintings netted over $327 million. A routine Attersee painting fetched $40.4 million at Sotheby's in November 2011.

The city of Vienna, Austria will have many special exhibitions commemorating Klimt's 150th birthday in 2012.

The only folio set produced in Klimt's lifetime, Das Werk Gustav Klimts was initially published by H.O. Miethke (of Gallerie Miethke, Klimt's exclusive gallery in Vienna) from 1908 to 1914 in an edition of 300 and was supervised by the artist himself. Fifty images depicting Klimt's most important paintings (1893-1913) were reproduced using collotype lithography, mounted on a heavy, cream-colored wove paper with deckled edges. Thirty-one of the images (ten of which are multicolored) are printed on Chine-collé, while the remaining nineteen are incredibly high quality halftones prints. Each piece was marked with a unique signet - designed by Klimt himself - which was impressed into the wove paper in gold metallic ink. The prints were issued in groups of ten to subscribers, in unbound black paper folders embossed with the artist's name. Due to the delicate nature of collotype lithography, as well as the necessity for multicolored prints (a feat difficult to reproduce with collotypes) and Klimt's own desire for perfection, the series that was published in mid 1908 was not completed until 1914.

The monochrome collotypes as well as the halftone works were printed with a variety of colored inks ranging from sepia, blue, and green.

Franz Joseph I of Austria was the first person to purchase Das Werk Gustav Klimts in 1908.

Fünfundzwanzig Handzeichnungen was released the year after Klimt's death and collected 25 drawings, many of which were erotic in nature and just as polarizing as his painted works. Published in Vienna in 1919 by Gilhofer & Ranschburg, the edition of 500 features twenty-five monochrome and two-color collotype reproductions nearly indistinguishable from the drawings they originated from. While the set was released a year after Klimt's death, some art historians suspect he was involved with pre-production due to the printing's meticulous nature (Klimt had overseen the production of the plates for Das Werk Gustav Klimts, making sure each one was to his exact specifications, a level of quality carried through in Fünfundzwanzig Handzeichnungen.) The first ten editions contained an original drawing by Klimt as well.

Many of the works contained in this volume depict erotic scenes of nude women, some of whom are masturbating alone or are coupled in sapphic embraces. When a number of the original drawings were exhibited to the public at Gallerie Miethke in 1910 and the International Exhibition of Prints and Drawings in Vienna in 1913, they were met by critics and viewers who were not shy about their hostility towards Klimt's contemporary perspective. There was an audience for Klimt's erotic drawings however: 15 of his drawings were selected by Viennese poet Franz Blei for his translation of Hellenistic satirist Lucian's Dialogues of the Courteseans. The book, limited to 450 copies, provided Klimt the opportunity to show these more lurid depictions of women and avoided censoring thanks to a minute group of affluent (mostly male) audience.

Composed in 1931 by editor Max Eisler and printed by the Austrian State Printing Office, Gustav Klimt An Aftermath was intended to complete the lifetime folio Das Werk Gustav Klimts. The folio contains 30 colored collotypes (fourteen of which are multicolored) and follows a similar structure found in Das Werk Gustav Klimts, replacing the unique Klimt-designed signets with gold-debossed plate numbers. 150 sets were produced in English, with 20 of them (Nos. I-XX) presented as a "gala edition" bound in gilt leather. The set contains detail images from previously released works (Hygeia from the University Mural Medicine, 1901; a section of the third University Mural Jurisprudence, 1903) as well as unfinished paintings (Adam and Eve; Bridal Progress.)

[Biography - Gustav Klimt - 15Ko]
Gustav Klimt (Juillet 14, 1862 - Février 6, 1918) était un peintre symboliste autrichien et l'un des membres les plus éminents de la Sécession viennoise. Ses œuvres majeures comprennent des peintures, des murales, des croquis, et autres objets d'art. Sujet principal de Klimt était le corps de la femme, et ses œuvres sont marquées par un franc éroti...
[Biography - Gustav Klimt - 1Ko]
Gustav Klimt (14. Juli 1862 - 6. Februar 1918) war ein bedeutender österreichischer Maler und einer der prominentesten Mitglieder der Wiener Secession. Seine wichtigsten Werke sind Gemälde, Wandbilder, Skizzen und andere Kunstgegenstände. Klimts Hauptthema war der weibliche Körper, und seine Werke werden von einer Erotik-Frank nirgendwo markiert is...
[Biography - Gustav Klimt - 1Ko]
Gustav Klimt (14 luglio 1862 - 6 febbraio 1918) è stato un pittore austriaco, uno dei membri più importanti del movimento della Secessione di Vienna. Le sue opere principali comprendono dipinti, affreschi, disegni e altri oggetti d'arte. Soggetto primario Klimt è stato il corpo femminile, e le sue opere sono caratterizzati da un franco-erotismo da ...
[Biography - Gustav Klimt - 16Ko]
Gustav Klimt (14 julio 1862 a 6 febrero 1918) fue un pintor simbolista austríaco y uno de los miembros más prominentes del movimiento de la Secesión de Viena. Sus mayores trabajos incluyen pinturas, murales, bocetos y otros objetos de arte. Tema principal de Klimt era el cuerpo de la mujer, y sus obras se caracterizan por un franco erotismo-en ning...
[Biography - Gustav Klimt - 1Ko]
Густав Климт (14 июля 1862 - 6 февраля 1918 г.) был австрийский художник символист, и один из самых видных членов движения Венского Сецессиона. Его основные работы включают картины, панно, эскизы и другие предметы искусства. Основной предмет Климта был женского тела, и его работы отмечены откровенной эротики, нигде это более очевидным, чем в его мн...
[Biography - Gustav Klimt - 1Ko]
克林姆(7月14日,1862 - 1918年2月6日)是奥地利象征主义画家和维也纳分离派运动最突出的成员之一。他的主要作品包括油画,壁画,素描,和其他艺术品。克里姆特的主要主题是女性的身体,他的作品标志着坦诚色情,无处这是更加明显比在他的许多图纸铅笔。 克林姆出生在鲍姆加滕,在奥匈帝国的维也纳附近,七个孩子三个男孩和四个女孩的第二次。显示所有的三个儿子早期的艺术才华。克里姆特的弟弟恩斯特· 克里姆特和格奥尔格· 克里姆特。恩斯特· 克里姆特的长老,他的父亲,以前从波希米亚,是一个黄金雕刻。恩斯特结婚安娜· 克里姆特(娘家姓Finster),其未实现的志向是成为一个音乐表演。克里姆特他童年的大部分生活在贫困中,工作是稀缺和经济进步是很难移民。 克...
[Biography - Gustav Klimt - 6Ko]
Gustav Klimt (Baumgarten, Viena, 14 de julho de 1862 — Viena, 6 de fevereiro de 1918) foi um pintor simbolista austríaco. Em 1876 estudou desenho ornamental na Escola de Artes Decorativas. Associado ao simbolismo, destacou-se dentro do movimento Art nouveau austríaco e foi um dos fundadores do movimento da Secessão de Viena, que recusava a tradição...
[Biography - Gustav Klimt - 13Ko]
Gustav Klimt (14 de julho, 1862 - 6 de fevereiro de 1918) foi um pintor simbolista austríaco e um dos membros mais proeminentes do movimento da Secessão de Viena. Seus principais trabalhos incluem pinturas, murais, esboços e outros objetos de arte. Assunto principal de Klimt era o corpo feminino, e suas obras são marcadas por um nada-erotismo franc...
[Biography - Gustav Klimt - 1Ko]
グスタフ· クリムト(1862年7月14日 - 1918年2月6日)はオーストリアの象徴画家、ウィーン分離派運動の最も顕著なメンバーの一人だった。彼の主要作品は、絵画、壁画、スケッチ、および他のアートオブジェクトが含まれます。クリムトの主なテーマは女性の身体であり、彼の作品は率直なエロティシズム - どこでマークされている鉛筆の彼の多数の図面でも、このより明らかである。 グスタフ· クリムトはオーストリア· ハンガリー帝国、ウィーン、七人の子供、三人の少年と4人の女の子の第二の近くに、バウムガルテンに生まれました。すべての3つの息子は早くから芸術的才能が表示されました。クリムトの弟エルンスト· クリムトとゲオルク· クリムトだった。...
[Biography - Gustav Klimt - 1Ko]
 

 

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WahooArt.com - Gustav Klimt
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The Kiss (In German: Der Kuss) was painted by the Austrian Symbolist painter Gustav Klimtbetween 1907 and 1908, the highpoint of his "Golden Period", when he painted a number of works in a similar gilded style. A perfect square, the canvas depicts a couple embracing, their bodies entwined in elaborate robes decorated in a style influenced by both linear constructs of the contemporary Art Nouveau style and the organic forms of the earlier Arts and Crafts movement. The work is composed of oil paint with applied layers of gold leaf, an aspect that gives it its strikingly modern, yet evocative appearance. The painting is now in theÖsterreichische Galerie Belvedere museum in the Belvedere palace, Vienna, and is widely considered a masterpiece of the early modern period. It is a symbol of Vienna Jugendstil—Viennese Art Nouveau—and is considered Klimt's most popular work.[/br] It was painted soon after his three-part Vienna Ceiling series which created a scandal and were criticized as both 'pornography' and evidence of 'perverted excess'. The works had recast the artist as an enfant terrible for his anti-authoritarian and anti-popularist views on art. He wrote, "If you can not please everyone with your deeds and your art, please a few". By contrast, The Kiss was enthusiastically received, and immediately found a buyer. [/br] Klimt depicts the couple locked in intimacy, while the rest of the painting dissolves into shimmering, extravagant flat pattern. The patterning suggests the style of Art Nouveau and the organic forms of the Arts and Crafts movement. At the same time the background evokes the conflict between two- and three-dimensionality intrinsic to the work of Degas and other modernists. Paintings such as The Kiss were visual manifestations of fin-de-siecle spirit because they capture a decadence conveyed by opulent and sensuous images. The use of gold leaf recalls medieval "gold-ground" paintings and illuminated manuscripts, and earlier mosaics, and the spiral patterns in the clothes recallBronze Age art and the decorative tendrils seen in Western art since before classical times. The man's head ends very close to the top of the canvas, a departure from traditional Western canons that reflects the influence of Japanese prints, as does the very simplified composition. The two figures are situated at the edge of a patch of flowery meadow. The man wears a robe with black and white rectangles irregularly placed on gold leaf decorated with spirals. He wears a crown of vines while the woman is shown in a tight-fitting dress with flower-like round or oval motifs on a background of parallel wavy lines. Her hair is sprinkled with flowers and is worn in a fashionable upsweep; it forms a halo-like circle that highlights her face, and is continued under her chin by what seems to be a necklace of flowers. Similarly juxtaposed couples appear in both Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze and Stoclet Frieze.[/br] It is thought that Klimt and his companion Emilie Flöge modeled for the work, but there is no evidence or record to prove this. Others suggest the female was the model known as 'Red Hilda'; she bears strong resemblance to the model in his Woman with feather boa, Goldfishand Danaë. Klimt's use of gold was inspired by a trip he had made to Italy in 1903. When he visited Ravenna he saw the Byzantine mosaics in the Church of San Vitale. For Klimt the flatness of the mosaics and their lack of perspective and depth only enhanced their golden brilliance, and he started to make unprecedented use of gold and silver leaf in his own work.
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