I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. We were in Vienna (or Wien, as I like to call it) and we were visiting the Belvedere. It was February and it was cold, so I remember being more excited about being inside instead of all the art that surrounded me. We’d been studying some of these pieces in our class, so seeing them in person was really neat and special. I don’t even remember all the works that I saw, but as we meandered through the halls and rooms of art, I was excited that I was actually recognizing some pieces!
And then I came into a new room and I saw it. It was like an experience, the kind you see in movies. I literally stopped walking and just stared. And stared. I think I even heard soft music playing in the background. While I stared. It completely took me away and I just studied it, running my eyes over every inch of it. It was the moment that I fell in love with Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss and it has always stayed with me. Sure, I’d seen The Kiss in books, but it was no larger than a few inches. Seeing it in real life, in it’s massive glory took my breath away. The gold, the paint, the shapes, the emotion, the sybolism. It was spectacular! I would later see Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris, but it couldn’t compare to this piece. It’s marvelously done, and although I might not suggest checking out Klimt’s drawings (due to…ahem…inappropriateness..) I love this piece and I always will. (Once, I almost bought an umbrella with this printed on it; if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.)