Der Kuss (The Kiss) - Gustav Klimt ~ 1907
The Kiss (original Der Kuss) was painted by Gustav Klimt, and is probably his most famous work. He began work on it in 1907 and it is the highpoint of his so-called 'Golden Period'. It depicts a couple, in various shades of gold and symbols, sharing a kiss against a bronze background.
When he painted The Kiss Klimt was 45 and still lived at home with his mother and two unmarried sisters - but behind the respectable facade he was a man with a ferocious sexual appetite. Klimt fathered at least three illegitimate children and probably many more. He was obsessed by women and he had a fixation with redheads. It is no surprise that the woman in The Kiss has red hair. According to writer Frank Whitford: "Together the man and the woman form the shape of a penis and I think that is intentional - it's about sex and about the fulfillment of sex between a man and a woman." 
Two figures are situated at the edge of a flowered escarpment. The man is wearing neutral colored rectangles and a crown of vines; the woman wears brightly colored tangent circles and flowers in her hair. The couple’s embrace is enveloped by triangular vining and a veil of concentric circles.
Similarly juxtaposed couples appear in both Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze and Stoclet Frieze.
In The Kiss, Klimt depicted a couple locked in an embrace. The rest of the painting dissolves into shimmering, extravagant flat patterning. This patterning has clear ties to Art Nouveau and to the Arts and Crafts movement and also evokes the conflict between two- and three-dimensionality intrinsic to the work of Degas and other modernists. Paintings such as The Kiss were visual manifestations of fin-de-siecle spirit because they capture a decadence conveyed by opulent and sensuous images.
Some think that Klimt and his beloved companion Emilie Flöge modeled for the masterpiece. Another suggestion has been that she was a model called 'Red Hilda.' There is strong visual evidence that she is the model for 'Woman with feather boa' , 'Goldfish' and 'Danaë'. She told her nephew that she was the woman in 'The Kiss'. Nothing is certain.
Klimt's use of gold had been hugely influenced by a trip he had made to Italy in 1903. He went to Ravenna where he saw the Byzantine mosaics in the Church of San Vitale. For Klimt the flatness of the mosaics and their lack of perspective and depth only enhanced their golden brilliance and he started to make unprecedented use of gold and silver leaf in his own work. 
The Kiss is a discreet expression of Klimt’s emphasis on eroticism and the liberation therein. The Kiss falls in line with Klimt’s exploration of fulfillment and the redeeming, transformative power of love and art. The Kiss deviates from Klimt’s frequent portrayal of woman as the lascivious femme fatale.
The piece is currently at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere museum, which is housed in the Belvedere palace, in Vienna, Austria.
Gustav Klimt and "The Kiss" were selected as the main motif for a collectors' coin, the 100 euro gold The Painting coin issued on 5 November 2003. The obverse depicts Klimt in his studio with two unfinished masterpieces on easels, while the reverse shows "Der Kuss" (The Kiss).
The 3D bronze representation of painting (made by Russian sculptor Aleksander Taratynov ) are installed in the Oranienbaum park.
I have always been drawn to this painting. As cheesy as it seems to adore an artists most popular piece. I love it. Even though I am, inherently, always, seeking the hidden gems. The B Sides. It's in my muscle memory to do that. Seek that which has been discarded or untouched.
I remember seeing images of it when I was a child. Responding to the golden tones. Dreaming of one day when I was old enough to be in an embrace that feels the way that painting looks. And now that I'm older.....I will remember my young self and whisper to her on the winds of time and change and say: one day sweetness.....it will feel like this. No, not like anything you could even imagine. Better.
I belong to no man
I am a manless woman
With little to no patience for games
And less patience for uncertainty about me
I am imperfectly satisfied to belong to no one
And rely solely upon my self
In this moment
But sometimes, when I dream
As I sleep
To look back on the years that I have been alive
Thinking of the warm spaces that I have shared
On a Sunday morning
When you wake, still half asleep at 6am
And laugh at each other's bloody horrible breath
And my face nuzzles into the empty space
Between your shoulder and skull
Our legs and bodies
Tangled in between the sheets
Tangled in between each other
Which is not to say that I live in a manless world
The men that have made the cut
Into my life.........and not out
As of late
Completely delightful creatures
Making it easier
Are just as complicated and fucked up as women
With less babble babble
And that they have soft spots too
Behind their teeth, when I reach for their scars
I know places we can go babe
For those that let me
For those that let me
Away, away, away
Here, here, here
Are those that trust my intensity
Are those that understand my intensity
For the life that I have lived
Like a nervous system
That pour out in the form of conversation
And wicked musings on a myriad of boxes
That contain light
Thoughts and words which is all that excites me anymore
One trick pony's
Are old fucking news, Son
"The Kiss is a discreet expression of Klimt’s emphasis on eroticism and the liberation therein. The Kiss falls in line with Klimt’s exploration of fulfillment and the redeeming, transformative power of love and art."