The Art of Love | Gustav Klimt's The Kiss

Happy Valentine's Day! Today let's take a look at a gorgeous painting that exudes love... Gustav Klimt's The Kiss.

Gustav Klimt, The Kiss (Lovers), oil and gold leaf on canvas, 1607–1608.

Using The Kiss to explore pattern and texture in art

There are so many amazing things about this painting, but for today we'll focus on two: pattern and texture. Invite your kids to look at the art, and before you begin a discussion, let them tell you what they see. 

If someone mentions that the woman's clothing is covered in circles, and the man's clothing is covered in rectangles, you can guide that observation into a chat about pattern.

Gustav  Klimt was interested in using his art to make the world a more beautiful place. The decorative elements of art nouveau inspired him, and he combined those modern elements with decorative pattern elements from ancient art to come up with a unique style that was totally new! 

The flat pattern of the rectangles and circles on their clothes looks almost flat and 2 dimensional, while their faces and hands are detailed and 3 dimensional.

In addition to this interesting 2D/3D contrast, there's another fascinating element to this painting. It's hard to tell from looking at a reproduction, but if you were face to face with this painting, you'd see that the background is not painted at all... it's gold leaf! 

Gustav Klimt used gold leaf quite a lot in his art, and this painting was done during his "Golden Period." The added element of texture that the gold leaf brings to the art makes it really spectacular!

An invitation to create!

Invite your kids to take what they saw in this painting, and to create something themselves. Maybe they'd like to do a painting that has the elements of Klimt's art:

  • A kiss on the cheek; or just 2 people who love each other
  • Decorative patterns
  • Some kind of gold texture

They can use Klimt's style as inspiration, or try something else. It will be so much fun to see what they come up with!

Join us

If you'd like to share your children's artwork or just chat about art with other homeschool moms, we'd love to meet you in the Facebook group.