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BBC The Private Life of a Masterpiece – The Kiss by Gustav Klimt (2005)

BBC The Private Life of a Masterpiece The Kiss by Gustav Klimt

In the series we will explore some of the world’s most well known works of art through The Private Life of a Masterpiece, that introduces viewers to the extraordinary stories contained in the history of art. Episodes reveal the full and fascinating stories behind famous works, not just how they came to be created, but also how they influenced others and came to have a life of their own in the modern world.
In this episode we will study Gustav Klimt- The Kiss (1907)
The Kiss, by Gustav Klimt is one of the iconic images of 20th century art. The painting is a portrayal of a couple in mid embrace, and was painted in the city of Vienna. The city of Freud was crawling with prostitutes, and Klimt was regarded as the most risque and outrageous of all artists working in the city. He portrayed women in a way quite different from the classical tradition. Learn more about Klimt and his deviation from the classical style.
The Kiss (In German: Der Kuss) was painted by the Austrian Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt between 1907-08, the highpoint of his ‘Golden Period’, when he painted a number of works in a similar gilded style. A perfect square, the canvas depicts a couple embracing, their bodies entwined in elaborate robes decorated in a style influenced by both linear constructs of the contemporary Art Nouveau style and the organic forms of the earlier Arts and Crafts movement. The work is composed of conventional oil paint with applied layers of gold leaf, an aspect that gives it its strikingly modern, yet evocative appearance. The painting is now in the Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere museum in the Belvedere palace, Vienna, and is widely considered a masterpiece of the early modern period. It is a symbol of Vienna Jugendstil–Viennese Art Nouveau–and is considered Klimt’s most popular work.

Fulmar Television & Film Production for BBC Wales

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