Pattern on silk depicts a fragment of the Kiss, written by Francesco Hayez, an Italian painter and romantic portraitist, who formed during the Unification of Italy. The history of painting knows many famous kisses: Klimt, Munch, Magritte (Lovers), but only one big kiss can be called the first, the strongest and the most emotional. In our opinion, this honorable title should be attributed to the work of Hayez, who created the so-called image in 1859, at the end of Romanticism and the climax of the Unification of Italy. His work is often depicted as a Picture of the Epoch, a kind of summary of the moods prevailing in culture. Hayez’s work is an allegory of passion, delicacy, great love, desire, care and anxiety, it shows an idealized vision of the world in which a feeling, though often dangerous and endangered, eclipses everything around, overcomes barriers and overcomes conflicts.
The picture shows a young pair of lovers, the action of the work most probably takes place in the Middle Ages, on one of the fortified castles, which can be inferred from the cool, stone interior and decorative costumes of the characters. The chill of space stands in opposition to the passion you feel in the Kiss. The young age of the character adds energy and lightness to the act of kissing, emphasizes the boundless devotion that is often equated with youth. Lovers stand at the center of the picture, they are the only non-static element of the work (with the exception of shadows, which will soon be mentioned). The moment is filled with anxiety, which can be seen in the violent, though full of tenderness of the character, which may suggest that the presented love is forbidden. The characters created by the artist are anonymous, it is difficult to determine whether they were modeled on someone. This procedure exposes the act of kissing, which is the theme of the work, the most important element that the character’s identity could override, depriving him of uniqueness or universality. Mystery is one of the characteristic features of Romanticism, also manifested in the described picture. We can not see the faces of a man in any way, the headgear covers her. The lower part of his jaw and the act of kissing express devotion, longing and passion. The woman’s face is also barely visible – only her left fragment is visible, on which we can recognize devotion, longing, relief and purity, which is further emphasized by the beautiful blue dress. The symbolism of colors is not accidental here, the colors of the youth’s robes refer to the flag of Italy, the blue dress of a woman represents France, which largely enabled the Unification of Italy. Hayez’s kiss is not only a tribute to the age, but also a presentation of history, a song of praise for the events taking place in 1815-1871. The patriotic character of the painting, connected with historical events, gives the work nostalgic and praise. The love embrace of the figure was to symbolize the Unification of Italy under the authority of the Kingdom of Sardinia. The uniting states fall into their arms, celebrate the moment. A long separation only sharpened the heat of feeling, which slightly suppresses the fear of an uncertain future. The threat is also visible in the left part of the picture, in which you can see the shadows of unspecified characters, before whom the lovers want to hide. The man puts his left foot on the step, making him feel ready to run away, which builds associations with Shakespeare’s drama. The lovers’ embrace is gentle and sure, the energetic man tenderly embraces the woman’s face, which seems to faint in his embrace, gently putting his hand on his shoulder.
The real painting is 110 by 88 centimeters in size, and you can admire it in the Pinacoteca di Brera, in Milan.
The shawl represents a fragment of the actual image, namely the part below.