The Kiss by Gustav Klimt

Published: 2021-06-29 07:10:58
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“THE KISS” BY GUSTAV KLIMT NameCourseDate“The Kiss” by Gustav KlimtThesis                The Kiss also sometimes referred to as the Lovers was painted in detail by the Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt. This he did in the period between 1908 and 1909. This period marked the highpoint of his life and is referred to as his "Golden Period". It was given this term because during that time he painted most of his works in the same gilded style. An exact and detailed square, the canvas showed a couple embracing with their bodies covered in elaborate robes adjoined in a style acted upon by linear constructions of the contemporary art Nouveau style and the authentic forms of the earlier Arts and Crafts movement. The painting is made of oil paint with utilized sections of gold leaf. This is an aspect that depicts its strikingly modern and yet provocative appearance. This can be observed in Judith I (1901), The Kiss (1907–1908) and more concentrated in Danaë (1907). Among the most common themes portrayed by Klimt was that of the dominating female, the femme fatale. The painting is currently in the Osterreichische Gallery which is in Belvedere museum, Vienna. ‘The Kiss’ is considered a masterpiece of early modern period of art. It’s a sign of Vienna Jugendstil—Viennese Art Nouveau and is acknowledged as Klimt's most popular work. [1]            The Kiss was painted soon after Klimt’s three part Vienna Ceiling series which led to a scandal. Those paintings were criticized as having themes for pornography and exhibited behavior that make him come out as a pervert. The works had reborn the artist as an enfant bad for his anti-authoritarian and anti-populist beliefs on art. He was quoted once sating that, "If one cannot please everyone with their deeds and art, then he was allowed to please the few he could". [2] Regardless of the accusations the Kiss was well received and it immediately got a buyer.Introduction       In order to understand the painting one must take a critical look at the painter Gustav Klimt noting his background and what habits and beliefs were inculcated in him that resulted to such a precious painting. He was born in 1862 in a small town called Vienna. He joined a low middle-class family of Moravian origin. Ernst Klimt, his father worked as an engraver and a goldsmith .He did not earn a lot from these activities therefore Klimt had to contend with living in absolute poverty. Gustav Klimt had to support his family their financial needs throughout his life. In 1876, Klimt got a scholarship to the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts where he studied until 1883. He was trained as an architectural painter. He respected at foremost Hans Makart, a history painter of that time. Klimt willingly accepted the principles of conservative training to the point where his early work is classified as academic. In 1877 Ernst, his brother, who as fate would have it took after his father to become an engraver, also enrolled in the same school. The two together with their friend Franz Matsch decided to operate together. By so doing they were able to gain a lot and by 1880 they had received many commissions as a team. The trio was called the "Company of Artists" and was fundamental in helping their teacher in painting murals in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.                After finishing their studies, they opened a studio together. The studio specialized in interior décor in particular decorating theaters. Their rapport by the 1880s was excellent and were renowned for their skill and prowess. They decorated theaters all over the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Much of their input can still be visible there. In 1885, they trio was implored upon to decorate the Empress Elizabeth's country retreat, the Villa Hermes near Vienna. Furthermore the next year the artists were requested to design the Viennese Burgtheater. These tasks were for the elite in society and for them employing the trio served as an effective recognition of them being the foremost of decorators of Austria. Art that Klimt worked on for this project included the Altars of Dionysosand and the Cart of Thespis at Taormina. After the completion of that work in 1888, the artists were awarded the Golden Service Cross and Klimt was again commissioned to decorate the Auditorium of the Old Burgtheater. This is the work that brought him to the height of fame. This outstanding painting, with utmost photographic accuracy is acknowledged as one of the greatest achievements in naturalist art work. As a result of this achievement, he was prized with the Emperor's Award and became a fashionable portraitist, as well as a leading artist of his time. Ironically, it was during this point, with a bright career as a classicist artist unfolding before him, that Klimt began turning to radical new styles of the Art Noveau. The artistic trio fell apart because Franz Matsch decided to branch out into portrait painting which he did successfully. This made it impossible for them to work together.

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