The Kiss, Gustav Klimt, 1907-1908
Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) was an Austrian Symbolist painter, his most famous work is The Kiss, which he painted during his golden period. The Kiss depicts a couple embracing and sharing a kiss, and uses both oil and gold leaf on canvas. The man is in neutral rectangles while the woman is wearing brightly coloured circles. It has ties to both the Arts and Crafts Movement and Art Nouveau, and symbolised the fin-de-siecle spirit of decadence that characterized the turn of the last century. Most of Klimt’s works are marked by frank eroticism, but The Kiss more discretely displays this aesthetic.