Gustav Klimt first began work on ‘The Kiss’ in 1907. The painting, which measures 180 cm high and 180 cm wide, is an oil and gold leaf on canvas. It finished in 1908, and was displayed at the Kunstschau exhibition in Vienna the same year.
‘The Kiss’ has been hailed as one of Klimt’s most iconic artworks, and it is said to represent the embrace of two lovers. The two figures embrace in a passionate embrace, surrounded by a golden halo of opulent ornamentation. Klimt used a blend of symbolism and naturalism to express his interpretation of the lovers' intimate relationship. The highlight of the painting are the two figures, which are the focal point, surrounded by a halo of gold mosaic patterning.
The painting was bought by a Berlin industrialist, Friedrich August Golz, in 1909, and its movements remain unknown until it reappeared at Christie’s in London in 1998. In 2002, 'The Kiss' was purchased by Austrian collector and founder of Republic of Austria, Dr. Götz Tröger, in a private auction.
In 2006, 'The Kiss' was acquired by the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, where it is on permanent public display at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere in Vienna, Austria. The painting is seen as a representation of Klimt’s exploration into intimacy and the human condition, and is now one of the most famous works of the Vienna Secession period.