Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) was an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Art Nouveau movement. His major works include paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism. In 1876, Klimt was enrolled in the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, where he studied until 1883, and received training as an architectural painter. He began his professional career painting interior murals and ceilings in large public buildings.
Klimt's work is distinguished by the elegant gold or coloured decoration, often of a phallic shape that conceals the more erotic positions of the drawings upon which many of his paintings are based. Klimt travelled little, but trips to Venice and Ravenna, both famous for their beautiful mosaics, most likely inspired his gold technique and his Byzantine imagery.
The Kiss is considered the highpoint of his "Golden Period", when he painted a number of works in a similar gilded style. 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 oil paint with applied layers of gold leaf, an aspect that gives it its strikingly modern, yet evocative appearance.
the above text appears on the back of the card HC-1085: card size 7" x 5" (178mm x 131mm)