Intimately entwined, utterly oblivious to the world around them, the couple in Gustav Klimt’s Kiss melt into each other’s embrace. Klimt’s most famous work is an icon both of Viennese Jugendstil and European modern art as a whole, the undisputed apogee of his “Golden Phase.” In the first decade of the twentieth century he produced enigmatic, coded ornamental works, which revolve around the mysteries of existence, love, and fulfillment through art.
The Kiss was first presented to the Viennese public at the exhibition known as the Kunstschau in 1908. It was acquired from this first exhibition by the Belvedere, which at that time was called the Staatsgalerie. Today the painting occupies a place of honor within the museum’s collection.