Pattern on silk presents the Kiss, the most famous painting by Gustav Klimt, the leading representative of secession and the outstanding Austrian symbolist. The work was created in the years 1907-1908, it is a crowned example of the Golden Period in Klimt’s work, from which also comes the first portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer. This period was preceded by the artist’s journeys, especially his stay in Ravenna, where he discovered the beauty of the mosaic. Klimt’s father was a goldsmith, the painter very quickly used the above facts and began experimenting with decorations. Gold and silver appearing in the image are real precious metals, they form a flat form, emphasized by the characteristic shapes of secession, geometric shapes and contrasting with the multidimensional elements of the work – skin and floral motifs. The kiss is a shapely allegory of the artist’s entire work, focused on eroticism, focusing on the woman, preceded by numerous sketches and creating his own unique form, which will forever be associated with only one painter.
A work of art depicts a pair of lovers during a kiss. For the artist, it is a magical scene, a haughty and solemn moment filled with feeling, which symbolizes a meadow blooming under the feet. The woman knelt, probably under the influence of admiration and sudden emotions, she collapsed, at which the man took her head, while continuing to kiss her flushed cheek. On the woman’s face, fulfillment and solace are drawn, the figure relishes the moment of passion, giving himself to the man who covers the woman’s face – he wants to protect her, creates a sense of security. Lovers do not see the world outside of themselves, they do not pay attention to what surrounds them, the only complement to love is the nature that participates in a kiss, a bit like romantic ideas. An important element of the work are the decorated garments of the form. The man’s clothes are made of geometric figures, reminiscent of antique designs. Women’s clothes draw oval patterns, probably symbolizing flowers, and therefore also delicacy. Robes contrast with each other, on the one hand show stability and balance, on the other they pay attention to fleeting beauty, emphasizing gender differences. The figures are arranged proportionally and symmetrically to the empty background (this is a deviation from the asymmetry characteristic of secession, which, however, can be seen in the dress of the heroes), which may symbolize an equal balance of power in which cooperation and dedication are needed. In the lover we can see Klimt (although the artist claimed that he never created a self-portrait). Surely, this is a character that the artist could identify with – mainly because of the model, whose face Emilia Flöge lent, the greatest love of the painter. The scene of fainting and contact of the face was intended to embrace and expose the passion of the moment and the feeling of devotion in love.
This image is a square with a side of 180 centimeters, you can admire it in the Viennese gallery Belvedere, which is the owner of the work since its inception.
Shawl presents a fragment of the actual image, namely the part visible below: