04 Dec REAL OR FALSE? THE VALUE OF AUTHENCITIY (PART TWO)
We continue our discussion on the value of artistic authenticity. In part one of this topic, Laura Mariani – co-owner of Mariani Affreschi together with Alberto and Alessandro – and I discussed the importance of the artistic expression that each interpreter can give to a work of art.
Today we will look at one of the most famous and loved paintings in the history of art worldwide, the legendary “Kiss” by Gustav Klimt. The kiss is an oil painting on canvas (180 x 180 cm) painted in 1907-08 by the Austrian painter. This work completely follows the canons of the Liberty style characterised by decorations and mosaics (Klimt had a weakness for the mosaics of Ravenna) on a gold background.
Gustav Klimt, “The Kiss,” oil painting on canvas
The man is standing, bending over to kiss the woman who is kneeling on a meadow of flowers. She seems to be accepting the kiss, participating emotionally. Only the face and arms of the characters are realistic, the rest of the painting is formed by flat colours and matching geometrical volumes. The woman’s face is held tightly between the man’s hands and she has her arm around his neck. The couple is encircled by an oval. The gold part covering the man mostly contains rectangular, black and white shapes, while the woman seems to be dotted with bunches of flowers and is characterised by rounded shapes without any corners. In addition to having a strong symbolic connotation, the painting stands out for its beauty and harmony and gives us very intense emotions.
On the right, an interpretation of Klimt’s “The Kiss” painted by an artist at Mariani Affreschi
To examine the concept of reproducing this work, I turned to the artist who creates this piece for Mariani Affreschi.
How do you interpret a painting as famous as this one?
I always get my inspiration from the original painting. It is a very fascinating piece of artwork that, like all those painted by Klimt, symbolically represents phases and moments of life, universal themes which we can all recognise. I believe this is the reason for his success.
Technically speaking, how do you recreate it?
To be able to interpret a painting of this type correctly it is important to examine the technique. A fresco painting is different from an oil painting, it is a special technique because it interacts with the water and land and therefore one needs to be very focused on grasping the moment in order to obtain a result that is as faithful as possible to the original.
A splendid fresco painting of Klimt’s “The Kiss” painted by an artist at Mariani Affreschi
That’s why there can be some differences in the final result of the fresco painting, which nevertheless do not take anything away from the original because they are the expression of the artist who creates that work at that specific time and therefore, in turn, is authentic in itself.