My husband and I were passing through the capital of Austria on vacation. We had only an hour to walk, so we hadn’t gone to the famous Österreichische Galerie Belvedere – what’s the point of looking at great paintings in a hurry?
Nevertheless, I was able to feast my eyes on some masterpieces – by this, I mean beautiful souvenirs with prints of Gustav Klimt’s works. Those nice pieces are sold everywhere there.
“The Kiss” as a Keepsake from Austria
Gustav Klimt lived and died in Vienna. He is known as a symbolist, a member of the Vienna Secession movement (the local variation of the international Art Nouveau style).
No doubt you have heard something about his most popular painting – The Kiss. An embracing couple kneeling among wildflowers is depicted on the canvas. The man kisses the woman on her cheek. They are both dressed, but you feel their strong sexual desire for each other. That union of spiritual and erotic love is exciting.
The Kiss seems a bit mystical thanks to its shine. The lover’s ”garments are adorned with gold leaf and the background, too, is suffused with delicate gold, silver, and platinum flakes” (I’m quoting the description published on the Belvedere Museum’s website).
Many other works painted by Gustav Klimt look luxurious as well. No wonder that they inspire designers to create something beautiful.
It was a surprise to find such a wide variety of souvenirs related to Gustav Klimt:
- magnets and keychains;
- canvas bags;
- eyeglasses cases;
- T-shirts and silk neckerchief scarves;
- puzzles – well, in a nutshell, whatever tourists like.
Of course, there were various art reproductions in Vienna souvenir shops, from large photographic posters to small postcards. I bought a postcard.
After a while, I regretted not having bought a Klimt scarf in Austria. Guess what? It turns out that things of that kind are available online. Almost all big internet stores offer them.
They aren’t as unique as I thought… Well, at least now I’ve found a perfect gift idea for every occasion.
Gustav Klimt isn’t the only artist who ”feeds” manufacturers of souvenirs.
Copies of paintings by Pierre Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin, and Vincent Van Gogh often embellish T-shirts or mugs. It’s even possible to order women’s Starry Night hipster panties.
I won’t be able to put such panties on, though… Van Gogh’s Starry Night is too lovely to use it that way.