We celebrate World Kissing Day with a dip in art (to be admired also via smartphone and computer)
If you love the “perfect icon”, then you are team-Klimt. His masterpiece, Der Kuss, is famous: it is a harmonic square in gold leaves, made in the early twentieth century and, even today, it appears ageless to us. It is the paradigm of the ideal kiss, of the enchanting fusion between two bodies: we have inserted it among the 5 masterpieces not to be missed online here and certainly Monday 13 April, World Kiss Day, is among the first to go and review.
The perfect kiss, in Italy, then has its own particular variation: the signature Francesco Hayez and his painting is among the jewels of the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan (which, online, he dedicated to him in read more here). That Hayez had painted it in the mid-nineteenth century to symbolize the love of the country and the Risorgimento fights (see the red socks that, with the green lapel of the cloak and the blue-white of the robe, recalled the tricolor) does not matter: Kiss like boldness, and also vaguely medieval style.
The kiss by Francesco Hayez
There are perfect kisses, and absolute kisses: real pleasure contortions. How Birthday of Marc Chagall, a one meter long cardboard oil, painted in 1915 and kept at the MoMa in New York (which here dedicates a separate card). Fabulous right? The painting is one of many in the series that Chagall made when he was married to his first wife, Bella. It seems that – Bella told it years later – the painting was made on Chagall’s birthday, July 7: the woman was decorating the room with flowers and her husband asked her to stop for a moment, because he wanted to fix that instant forever. Today we see every detail of that place (the purse on the table, perhaps used to buy the flowers that Bella holds in her hand, the decorations on the walls), but what is most striking is the long neck of the artist who becomes “contortionist of the love “, just to merge with his beloved.
Marc Chagall’s birthday
The history of art is full of perfect kisses or absolute kisses: fromLove and Pische of the Canova (here in his pictorial version, here in his famous statue at the Louvre) to the “kiss in the mold” loved by the Romanian sculptor Costantin Brancusi (much mentioned on Pinterest), but we also like the more messy and less composed ones.
How Au lit, le basier di Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the most brazen of the series of “kisses in bed” painted by the French painter who hung out in Pigalle and who immortalized dancers, prostitutes and characters from the Parisian life that revolved around the Montmatre nights. There are the wrinkled sheets, the bodies that wrap themselves in a tender embrace: they are two dancers, who knows maybe portrayed in a moment of intimate pause, far from the scenes. The atmosphere is reminiscent of certain other paintings by Toulouse Lautrec exhibited at the Musée d’Orsay (such as this ), but today this work is hardly visible: it belongs to a lucky private collector.
Au lit, le basier by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec
If you prefer this kind of work, if for you the kiss in art must (also) provoke then, you are team-Schiele. there he is here his Kiss between two girls, a very powerful work from 1915, preserved in the Budapest Museum (but in the link you can, by enlarging the image, appreciate every detail): the passion according to Egon Schiele it is made up of large eyes and visible flesh, nervous tension and sensuality. Of love that prelude to tragedy.
Kiss between two girls by Egon Schiele
And then there is the kind of kiss most suitable for social distance that is required of us today: net of some provocations already published by the Italian artist Tvboy on his IG account and you soon went viral, the best symbolic representation remains that of that genius of René Magritte.
Here they are, his Les Amants (on the MomMa website in New York where one of the versions is kept you can see them well). Separated, yet united.