Private Life of a Masterpiece: Gustav Klimt: The Kiss

Bullet Shih Feb, 2012 1
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Title: Private Life of a Masterpiece: Gustav Klimt: The Kiss
Artist: Gustav Klimt
Date: 2005
Genre: Documentary
Subcategory: Artwork Specific
Language : English
Director: John Bush
Time: 50 min

Part of a 29 part series by BBC that examines famous individual works of art, Gustav Klimt: The Kiss focuses on just that.  Perhaps the best opening line is thatwith so many reproductions “kitsch threatens to obliviate The Kiss.”

Interesting tidbits: While the film painstakingly portrays Klimt as an unsated womanizer, at age 45 he still lived at home with his mother and two unwed sisters.  After his death there were 14 paternity suits and 4 were sussessful.  Experts still disagree over who was the female model.  Leading candidates were Emile Flöge his summer companion, sitter and wife of a Viennese industrialist Adele Bloch-Bauer, or a recently discovered redhaired model.

Geek tidbits: 8 Types of gold leaf applications were used.  Most likely Klimt learned gold leaf application techniques from his father who was an engraver of gold and silver artifacts.  It is believed that Klimt’s Gold Period was inspired by his trip to Ravenna and its golden mosaics.  When The Kiss was first exhibited, it was unfinished and named The Lovers.

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Ratings:
Art Geek Factor: 8 out of 10 Stars
Artistic Accuracy: 7 out of 10 Stars
Overall Movie: 7 out of 10 Stars

Summary: The documentary spends much time setting up Klimt as a notorious womanizer whose studio always contained several naked models who serviced his every desire be it a quick sketch or just a quickieUnfortunately, it loses points for its 70s stock film interludes of teenagers kissing as well as its use of inferiorly painted set designs for the John Malkovich film on Klimt to represent the lost paintings he did for the University of Vienna.  Overall however Private Life of a Masterpiece is an interesting series that is fairly educational and accessible.

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One Comment »

  1. Amy May, 2014 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    I am doing a research paper on Gustav Klimt the painting The Kiss. Would like to see Title: Private Life of a Masterpiece: Gustav Klimt: The Kiss
    Artist: Gustav Klimt
    Date: 2005
    Genre: Documentary
    Subcategory: Artwork Specific
    Language : English
    Director: John Bush
    Time: 50 min

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