1848 – 1907
Industrial Revolution II

Gustav Klimt's The Kiss

Gustav Klimt, The Kiss, 1907-8, oil and gold leaf on canvas, 180 x 180 cm (Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna)

Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker

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Julia M wrote on Tuesday, March 05, 2013

*sigh* SO-OH BEAUTIFUL! It’s so refreshing to see a piece that is easily appreciated, beyond it’s own era and movement. “The Kiss” is such a popular image even in today’s culture; it’s so adaptable to modern day standards, yet alludes to past historical and traditional works as well. As the commentators mentioned, the similar gold-leaf use in religious icons, medieval narratives, and byzantine patterns definitely presents the same sense of spirituality in Klimt’s “The Kiss.” It’s often stated that no matter how revolutionary or modern the art is, whether aesthetically or conceptually, it will always hold ties to past works of art. I believe this reference to the past, in no way hinders the value of new work, but instead strengthens the capabilities of art to communicate. I love when commentators describe this work as capturing the “Intensity of the eternity” and “removed from the everyday world,” I really couldn’t agree more. Perhaps it is because “The Kiss” allows us to relive our own moment of “intensity of the eternity” within our fleeting human experience, that it makes this work of art, truly…ageless.

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