A Kiss That Embodies Love Essay, Research Paper
“A Kiss That Embodies Love”
Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss” has been close to my heart for the past seven years. To me this artwork represents an embodiment of true love because the image represents what I consider to be traditional romantic love. The male figure appears protective of the woman, yet he also seems nurturing. The female figure has the soft femininity of a traditional woman, yet she appears to be an equal contributor to the relationship as well as to the painting; neither the man nor the woman predominates. “The Kiss” conveys this to me through the color and shape detail, the embrace of the lovers, and it’s romantic theme.
The colors used in the image are not the traditional colors of love. Reds, purples, and pinks are replaced with an abundance of golds, browns, and greens. Many reproductions of “The Kiss” are colored with a glimmery shine that captures and demands the attention of the viewer. The rich fall colors represent a harmony between the extremes of summer and winter, as the painting is a balance between the extremes of lust and hatred: true love.
The shapes Klimt chose to define the man and woman is squares and circles. There is no distinction of where the their bodies end and begin except where the squares and circles meet. The squares represent the masculinity of man with rigid and exact form. Circles, in contrast, have the femininity of a woman. Circles, like most women’s emotions, are full and continuous: constant yet an ongoing cycle. The circles are also opposite of the squares in relation to the fa?ade of colors. Klimt filled the squares with dominating blacks, whites, and browns. The circles he filled with a more colorful array of greens, golds, and reds.
The embrace and kiss between the lovers is gentle and enchanting. However, there is a hint of abstractness in the way the heads are bent to the side in an unnatural fashion. The man’s face is not as available as the woman’s. What the viewer sees of the man’s face is only a defined jawline, nose, and brow in profile. The woman’s face is a full frontal view capturing all of her features. The man is cupping the woman’s face in his bulky hands as one of her frail hands touches one of his assuring that he remains holding her.
After researching Klimt, I discovered that the painting was a portrait of himself and Danae, his true love. This discovery reinforced my idea that “The Kiss” represents a true love; whether the love represents a “pure romantic” love or not remains unknown. In any case, Klimt’s most well known masterpiece is a mystical, alluring, and intriguing piece. “The Kiss” leaves the viewer open to relate his or her own personal view of intimacy.