The Kiss by Gustav Klimt is my absolute favorite painting in the world.
How and why do I love it so much? Let me count the ways.*
1. The colors – Look at all of that gold! Painted during Klimt’s “Golden Period,” the beautiful sparks of gold on the painting call out to the viewer, luring you further into the painting and the kiss.
2. The subject matter – Love!
3. The expression – Complete, utter happiness. There is nowhere else in the world that she’d rather be than in his arms.
4. The embrace – The world’s most tender two-dimensional hug
5. The kiss itself – The sweetness of the kiss is what I think I love the most. It’s a simple kiss on the cheek, and yet there is an incredible amount of love, passion, and happiness that is represented in this simple act.
One of the most thoughtful housewarming gifts that I’ve received was a printed canvas of The Kiss from my favorite Englishman. As I opened the package and saw the beautiful kiss and enraptured look of the lovers, I couldn’t help but sigh and stare. I have The Kiss in my apartment!
You can view “The Kiss” in person at the Belvedere Museum in Vienna.
Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Vienna
*Major props if you got my reference to Elizabeth Barrett Brownings poem, “How do I Love Thee?” (Sonnet 43).