Gustav Klimt, 1909 - The Kiss (couple) - fine art print

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Detailed print product information

The Kiss (couple) was made by the art nouveau Austrian painter Gustav Klimt. The 110 year old version of the artpiece had the size 180 × 180 cm - frame dimensions: 184 × 184 × 5,2 cm, showcase box and was painted with the technique oil on canvas. The painting has the following text as inscrption: "signed lower right: GVSTAV / KLIMT". What is more, the artpiece belongs to the Belvedere's collection. With courtesy of © Belvedere, Vienna (licensed: public domain). : purchase from the artist at the art show, Vienna in 1908. Moreover, alignment is square with a ratio of 1 : 1, which means that the length is equal to the width. Gustav Klimt was a painter from Austria, whose artistic style was mainly Art Nouveau. The Austrian artist lived for a total of 56 years - born in 1862 in Vienna state, Austria and deceased in the year 1918.

Product materials that we offer:

In the product dropdown selection you can select a material and a size of your choice. The following sizes and materials are the options we offer you for individualization:

  • Canvas: The canvas print is a printed cotton canvas stretched on a wooden frame. Canvas Prints have the advantage of being low in weight, which implies that it is quite simple to hang up your Canvas print without the support of additional wall-mounts. Hence, a canvas print is suitable for all kinds of walls.
  • Poster (canvas material): The poster is a printed cotton canvas with a granular texture on the surface. It is appropriate for framing your art replica in a personal frame. Please bear in mind, that depending on the absolute size of the poster print we add a white margin between 2-6cm round about the print motif, which facilitates the framing.
  • Aluminium dibond print: Aluminium Dibond prints are metal prints with an outstanding depth effect. The Aluminium Dibond Print is your best start to replicas with aluminum. For your Direct Aluminium Dibond print, we print your selected artwork right on the surface of the white-primed aluminum material. The bright and white parts of the artwork shimmer with a silky gloss, however without glare. Colors are luminous, fine details of the print appear clear and crisp.
  • The acrylic glass print (with real glass coating): An acrylic glass print, often named a plexiglass print, will change your favorite original into beautiful décor and is a good alternative to aluminium or canvas fine art prints. Your work of art is made with modern UV print machines. With an acrylic glass art print contrasts and also small details become exposed because of the precise gradation of the print.

Important note: We do what we can in order to depict our products with as many details as it is possible and to exhibit them visually. Nonetheless, the pigments of the print materials and the imprint can vary somehwat from the representation on the screen. Depending on your settings of your screen and the nature of the surface, colors might not be printed one hundret percent realistically. Because all the are printed and processed manually, there may also be slight variations in the motif's size and exact position.

The product

Product type: fine art reproduction
Method of reproduction: digital reproduction
Production technique: UV direct printing (digital print)
Product Origin: Germany
Type of stock: production on demand
Product usage: art reproduction gallery, wall decoration
Orientation: square alignment
Side ratio: length to width 1 : 1
Interpretation: the length is equal to the width
Available product fabrics: canvas print, metal print (aluminium dibond), poster print (canvas paper), acrylic glass print (with real glass coating)
Canvas on stretcher frame (canvas print) options: 20x20cm - 8x8", 30x30cm - 12x12", 50x50cm - 20x20", 70x70cm - 28x28", 100x100cm - 39x39", 150x150cm - 59x59", 180x180cm - 71x71"
Acrylic glass print (with real glass coating) size variants: 20x20cm - 8x8", 30x30cm - 12x12", 50x50cm - 20x20", 70x70cm - 28x28", 100x100cm - 39x39", 150x150cm - 59x59", 180x180cm - 71x71"
Poster print (canvas paper) size options: 30x30cm - 12x12", 50x50cm - 20x20", 70x70cm - 28x28", 100x100cm - 39x39"
Aluminium dibond print (aluminium material) sizes: 20x20cm - 8x8", 30x30cm - 12x12", 50x50cm - 20x20", 70x70cm - 28x28", 100x100cm - 39x39"
Frame: unframed art copy

Structured table of the artpiece

Work of art title: "The Kiss (couple)"
Categorization: painting
Category: modern art
Artwork century: 20th century
Year of creation: 1909
Age of artwork: around 110 years
Painted on: oil on canvas
Artwork original dimensions: 180 × 180 cm - frame dimensions: 184 × 184 × 5,2 cm, showcase box
Signature on artpiece: signed lower right: GVSTAV / KLIMT
Museum / collection: Belvedere
Location of the museum: Vienna, Austria
Web page: Belvedere
License: public domain
Courtesy of: © Belvedere, Vienna
Creditline: purchase from the artist at the art show, Vienna in 1908

Artist summary table

Name of the artist: Gustav Klimt
Aliases: Klimt Gustav, Gustav Klimt, Klimt Gustave, קלימט גוסטב, Klimt, クリムト, gust. klimt, Gustave Klimt, g. klimt, klimt gustav, klimt g.
Gender: male
Artist nationality: Austrian
Jobs: painter
Country of origin: Austria
Classification: modern artist
Art styles: Art Nouveau
Life span: 56 years
Year of birth: 1862
Born in (place): Vienna state, Austria
Year of death: 1918
Deceased in (place): Vienna, Vienna state, Austria

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Artwork information from Belvedere (© Copyright - by Belvedere -

During the art show of 1908[1] the Imperial and Royal Ministry of Culture and Education acquired Gustav Klimt's monumental icon "Lovers" for the Modern Gallery at the unanimous proposal of the Art Commission,[2] and at the same time the Art Commission of the German section of the Modern Gallery of the Kingdom of Bohemia decided at its meeting on 29 January to acquire Gustav Klimt's monumental icon "Lovers". The writer and art critic Berta Zuckerkandl celebrated the event in the "Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung" with the following words: "At last an incomprehensible omission has been remedied. At last the hardly credible fact that Austria's Modern Gallery has not yet been possessed by Austria's greatest master of any representative work has been eliminated. The exorbitantly high purchase price - the amount was to be paid to the artist in two equal installments[5] - is very probably intended as a kind of "compensation" to compensate Klimt for the rejection of the so-called faculty paintings and the injustice it had caused. While the formalities for the purchase were still being clarified, Klimt travelled as usual to the Attersee and wrote on 16 July 1908 from his summer residence to the responsible ministerial secretary Max von Millenkovich-Morold that he would "of course complete the not quite finished painting "Lovers" immediately after the end of the exhibition and deliver it to the Imperial and Royal Ministry himself"[6]. Klimt's optimistic prognosis turned out to be a premature statement in retrospect, since the completion of the painting and the associated instruction to pay the second installment of the purchase price could only be proven in June 1909.[7] Klimt's "Lovers" were finally physically incorporated into the inventory of the Modern Gallery Collection on July 22, 1909.[8] The first version of the painting exhibited in the 1908 art show is in fact an incomplete one. Klimt was so busy organizing and completing the show that the completion of his main work, which was intended as a counterpart to the equally large painting "The Three Ages", could no longer take place in time before the opening. After the end of the large exhibition, Klimt had to supplement the flower meadow on the left and rework the ornamentation of the dresses. In the course of the completion he extended, following the anatomy, the clearly too short lower legs of the kneeling. The acquisition of the painting was subject to the condition that the "Lovers" be reproduced after their completion "waiving any claim for compensation" by the artist for "state, in particular for educational and scientific purposes".[9] The painting was therefore to be sent to the Imperial and Royal Graphic Education and Research Institute for this purpose.[10] Of course Klimt was familiar with the motif of a kissing or caressing couple, which was often taken up and varied by artists in the last decades of the 19th century. In addition, he himself had already painted this theme in 1895 in a painting created as a model for a print of the series "Allegories and Emblems" by the Viennese publishing house Gerlach und Schenk. For example, works by Edvard Munch, who from 1897 on dealt in various artistic media with a kissing couple, are rightly mentioned as a possible source of inspiration for Klimt's monumental icon.[11] Two years before Munch, Franz von Stuck, admired and frequently received by Klimt, had painted his equally important work "The Kiss of the Sphinx". Among the Austrian painters, Klimt particularly appreciated Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, who in 1858 devoted himself to the body language theme with one of his most exciting masterpieces, "Belauschte Liebesleute" ("Overheard Love People"). The following year the romantic Francesco Hayez, influenced by Antonio Canova, painted the much praised scene of a kissing couple. Despite all these possible influences, the French sculptor Auguste Rodin should not be forgotten. Rodin, whose works could already be seen at the first exhibition of the Vienna Secession in 1898,[12] had visited Vienna on June 7, 1902 - on the way back from his great exhibition in Prague - and had seen Klimt's "Beethoven Frieze", of which he was extremely impressed[13] Klimt had also already dealt with the subject in the "Beethoven Frieze" and in a similar way a few years earlier in the faculty painting "Philosophy". The faculty pictures in particular illustrate Klimt's intensive engagement with Rodin's art, above all with the "Gate of Hell", created between 1880 and 1884 and visualizing Dante's "Inferno". For the "lovers", the group of figures on the left pilaster of the "Gate of Hell" with the centaur and the young woman turned towards it can certainly be considered as an influence. Other figures of Rodin's composition that might be important for Klimt are the couple "The Eternal Idol" formed around 1884 and the group "The Eternal Spring" created five years later. It is conceivable that Klimt generated his own solution to idealized "eternal" love from Rodin's creations. Just as Rodin saw himself as a lover in most of his works, Klimt was keen to portray himself in the male figure. However, his face is almost completely concealed, just as in 1902 in the scene of the "embrace" in the "Beethoven Frieze" and once again in the "fulfillment" of the material Frieze for the dining room of the Palais Stoclet in Brussels. As if that were not enough, the ivy wreath in the man's hair gave the depiction an antique character. It was Alice Strobl who, on the basis of a sketch in the 1917 sketchbook (Strobl III, No. 3165), succeeded in clearly proving that Klimt immortalized himself here, together with Emilie Flöge, whose personality the artist anonymized through the red hair[14] In view of the still prevailing uncertainty about their relationship to one another, it is important to point out that Klimt here did not - like Rodin or Munch, for example - make the kiss itself an issue. He didn't want the erotic aspect, ecstasy and passion, in the foreground, but the tender embrace and, so to speak, the prelude to the desired experience. The complete clothing of the couple also speaks for this. Klimt wears his typical floor-length work coat, which is now completely stylized and ornamented. Only the wide neckline, which releases the artist's muscular neck, and the silhouette of the male body, which stands out against the anonymous gold ground, reveal the garment as such. Klimt wore the smock mainly on the Attersee in the open, while Emilie Flöge wore reformed dresses.[15] The ornamentation of the dresses obeys the rules of gender-specific differentiation: Rectangular black, gold and silver surfaces are assigned to the man, with a few exceptions, while the woman's dress, which fits closely to the body, is composed of curvilinear and oval elements as well as colorful pieces of flowers. The above-mentioned detachment also illustrates the isolation of the two figures, who, like the couple in the "Beethoven frieze", enclosed in a completely "private" golden aureole, do not make any contact with the viewer. They belong only to themselves and thus allow the conclusion that happiness can only exist "beyond social reality". Similar to the portrait of the "sunflower", which began at the same time and was painted in Litzlberg am Attersee, Klimt takes the protagonists away from reality with the help of a meadow of flowers. Klimt, the great visionary of form, processes in the "Lovers" an experience he made during a visit to the Hagenbund exhibition in 1902 in front of the equally monumental painting "Die Eismänner" (Belvedere, Vienna) by Karl Mediz. As surprising as the comparison may be, it cannot be denied that Klimt's Wiesenzone Mediz is formally very similar to the cliff overgrown with flowers. He may also have been inspired by the spherical effect of the two-dimensional background, which dramatically moves the "lovers" even further away from reality and no longer allows any reference to real space. Klimt had already executed the background in a very similar way in his 1903 painting "The Golden Knight". The same background texture - a material combination of impact metal, a gold bronze mixture, gold leaf and oil paints on a zinc white primer - is also found in the 1907/08 portrait "Adele Bloch-Bauer I" and the painting "Hoffnung II", painted almost simultaneously. The throne of flowers overflowing with flowers could well mean the lake shore in front of Villa Oleander in Kammerl am Attersee, especially since the algae already known from the pictures "Girlfriends" and "Water Snakes" appear in the dependent, i.e. near-water area of the flower meadow. The spherical golden background would therefore be the smooth mirror of the Attersee in the morning or evening sun, in front of which the couple lovingly turn to each other. In the summer months of 1907, Gustav Klimt and Emilie Flöge came closest to each other in Litzlberg am Attersee. This summer they spent their happiest time. The fact that Klimt was involved with the first sketches for the Stocletfries during the creation phase of the painting and that the frieze finally executed resembles the "Liebespaar" in many respects supports this interpretation of the theme. Even if it may not seem convincing at first glance, a comparison of Klimt's masterpiece with Frederic Leighton's "The Fisherman and the Syren: From a Ballad by Goethe" is quite revealing. 16] In his work painted between 1856 and 1858, Leighton did not refer to the siren myth in the twelfth song of Homer's Odyssey, but used Goethe's lyrical story "The Fisher" as a model for his probably most erotic painting. He tried to escape the critics in prudish England by referring to Goethe in the title and the rather untypical smaller picture format. Nevertheless, a reviewer in the "Saturday Review" of 1858 noted that this picture "will not arouse displeasure in some places without reason"[17]. Rarely had Leighton so openly dealt with the subject of passion and sexual desire. The bronze-coloured young man is the light-skinned siren that embraces him intimately and presses her body firmly against his, completely at the mercy of him, and slowly glides down into the deadly water. The special feature of the painting is the physical affection of the two heads and the depiction of the exciting moment immediately before the longed-for seductive kiss that seals the fisherman's fate. Gustav Klimt's monumental icon also features the same motif. As already mentioned, however, the theme is not the act of the kiss itself, but rather, and to a very special degree, the moment before it. In contrast to Leighton, exactly 50 years later Klimt had the opportunity to depict himself with his life man Emilie Flöge, and in some postures and poses as well as in the incarnate he resorted to Leighton's Mediterranean fisherman and the siren. When one then realizes that Klimt's "lovers" embrace each other on a flowery piece of meadow on the lake shore, and then brings the algae on the lovers' legs into the appropriate context, the way to Leighton's siren is no longer particularly far away. [Text: Alfred Weidinger 6/2012] Comments: 1] Cf. Agnes Husslein-Arco/ Alfred Weidinger (ed.), Gustav Klimt and the Art Show 1908 (exhib. cat. Belvedere, Vienna 2008/09), Munich 2008 - [2] Together with Klimt's "Lovers" the painting "Interior from the Imperial and Royal Ministry of Finance" by Carl Moll (K 5000,-) and Franz Metzner's relief "The Dance" (K 4000,-) in marble were acquired. Austrian State Archives, Vienna, file 32554/08 - [3] Austrian State Archives, Vienna, file 32554/08 - [4] Berta Zuckerkandl, "Purchase of Klimt works by the State and the Land", in: Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung, 4 August 1908, p. 3 - [5] The first instalment was to be paid immediately after delivery of the painting, the second at the beginning of the following year. - 6] Letter of 16 July 1908 from Gustav Klimt to Ministerial Secretary Max von Millenkovich-Morold, Austrian State Archives, Vienna. - 7] Austrian State Archives, Vienna, Legatur Zl. 32554/08 of 29 June 1909 - [8] Act (without number) from the archive of the Belvedere, Vienna, in which the receipt of the painting "Lovers" (No. 912) is confirmed. - 9] Letter to the Secretariat of the Kunstschau 1908, Österreichisches Staatsarchiv, Vienna, file 32554/08 - [10] According to a letter of 22 September 1908 from the Imperial and Royal Ministry of Culture and Education to the Directorate of the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt, the painting "Liebespaar" was to be "[n]ach Herstellung der Reproduktionen, welche die unmittelbar an das Ministerium für Kultus- und Unterricht zu leiten [...] zu die Akademie der bildenden Künste in Wien (Kustos Gerisch) abzugeben". Österreichisches Staatsarchiv, Vienna, file no. 598/1-XXIc/768. - [11] Cf. Hans Bisanz, "Zur Bildidee Der Kuss - Gustav Klimt und Edvard Munch", in: Tobias G. Natter/ Gerbert Frodl (ed.), Klimt und die Frauen (Ausst.-Cat. Belvedere, Vienna 2000/01), Vienna 2000, pp. 226-234 - [12] Cf. Agnes Husslein-Arco/ Stephan Koja (ed.), Rodin and Vienna (exhibition cat. Belvedere, Vienna 2010/11), Munich 2010 - [13] Cf. in addition the detailed treatment of this topic by Renée Price, "The Kiss: Gustav Klimt and Auguste Rodin", in: dies. (Ed.), Gustav Klimt - the Ronald S. Lauder and Serge Sabarsky Collections (Exhibition Cat. Neue Galerie, New York 2007/08), New York 2007, pp. 233-251 - [14] Alice Strobl, "The Sketchbook of 1917", in: dies., Gustav Klimt. Die Zeichnungen, Vol. III, 1912-1918, Salzburg 1984, p. 241 - [15] Cf. the numerous photos showing the artist in his smock, mainly at the Attersee, in: Agnes Husslein-Arco/ Alfred Weidinger (ed.), Gustav Klimt & Emilie Flöge - Photographs, Munich 2012 - [16] Cf. Alfred Weidinger, "Gedanken über die Gebrüder Klimt und die viktorianische Malerei", in: Agnes Husslein-Arco/ Alfred Weidinger (ed.), Schlafende Schönheit. Masterpieces of Victorian Painting from the Museo de Arte de Ponce (Exhibition Cat. Belvedere, Vienna 2010), Vienna 2010, pp. 113-124 - [17] Saturday Review, 15 May 1858, p. 500.

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