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the kiss by gustav klimt

5 Facts You Must Know About the “Kiss” by Klimt

In 1907, after recovering from the failure of fame of the Vienna Ceiling Paintings, Klimt began to work thereafter, with weakened confidence. In one of his letters, he said, “Either I am too old, or too nervous, or too stupid—there must be something wrong.” This was way before his any of his major landmark works.

the kiss by gustav klimt

  1. The Kiss was Purchased Even Before it was Completed

The Belvedere Museum (The Österreichische Galerie Belvedere) added the painting to their collection. In 1908, the Austrian Gallery displayed The Kiss for the first time, even though Klimt hadn’t yet put the finishing touch.


  1. The Kiss attracted a large sum of money

Why would someone pay such a huge amount for an unfinished piece? You make an offer that can’t be refused. To acquire this transcendent piece of art, the Belvedere paid 25,000 crowns. Prior to this mammoth sale, the highest price paid for a painting in Austria was a relatively paltry 500 crowns.

  1. The Price Turned out to be Undervalue

Austria considers The Kiss a national treasure, and so the Viennese museum that has long been its home would never bid on it. However, if such a transaction were to happen, it’s predicted The Kiss would break sales records again. After all, Klimt’s lesser famous “Adele Bloch-Bauer I” sold for $135 million in 2006.

  1. The Masterpiece is a Juxtaposition of Various Artistic Styles

The pose of the lovers depicted in The Kiss reflects the natural forms favored in the Vienna Art Nouveau movement. But the simple forms with the bold patterns of the pair’s cloaks shows the impact of the Arts and Crafts movement, while the use of spirals harkens back to Bronze Age art.

  1. The Kiss May be A Self Portrait

Some art historians have theorized that the lovers seen lip-locked here are none other than the Austrian painter and his long-time partner, fashion designer Emilie Flöge, who he had previously depicted in a portrait.


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