Gustav Klimt at his studio (1911) (photo by Moriz Nähr, in the Austrian National Library, courtesy Google Arts & Culture)
I fall into an investigation of Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss”’ (1908–1909) ostensibly to answer the question of who the real life referents were for the figures in the painting. The excursion begins on the landing page, which has a banner length image of a close-up of the top third of the painting. As I continue to scroll horizontally, the screen hones in on certain parts of the work, with pop-up windows that offer visual diegesis that is fairly obvious and uncritically sentimental, for example:
Klimt creates the image of a perfect union between man and woman with both merging together. Here, man and woman connect with the earth and the cosmos, guided by the power holding everything together: love.
I then am moved through turn of the century photographs of Gustav Klimt and his lifelong romantic partner Emilie Flöge, with several images of her in various voguish outfits that provide visual evidence affirming the description of her as a “modern woman who ran a successful fashion salon.”