Austrian Mint concludes program honoring artist Gustav Klimt

2016 gold coin honors The Kiss
By , Coin World
Published : 03/23/16
Text Size

One of artist Gustav Klimt’s most famous works is being celebrated on a gold coin.

The Austrian Mint on April 13 announced plans to release the fifth and final gold €50 coin in the “Klimt and His Women” series. The 2016 coin honors the internationally renowned painting The Kiss, created during 1907 and 1908.

The obverse of the coin depicts Klimt at the right side, in one of his many favorite painting smocks, accented by intricate scroll and patterning that is a key element in the Jugendstil (Viennese Art Nouveau) world. 

Connect with Coin World:  

The head and shoulder portrait featured in the square frame at left is of Emilie Floge, with the masses of hair that she was well known for. Also on the obverse appear the country of issue, REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH for “Republic of Austria,” the face value of €50 and the year of issue, 2016. 

The Austrian Mint’s chief engraver, Thomas Pesendorfer, engraved the obverse.

The reverse of the coin was engraved by mint engraver Helmut Andexlinger and features a close up of the top portion of The Kiss along with many intricate geometric patterns as per the original masterpiece by Klimt. In the lower right area of the coin design is the letter “T,” completing the set of five coins, which spell out his name (each of the five coins bears a successive letter of his last name).

Floge was Klimt’s lifetime partner and soon became his favorite muse, appearing in many paintings. The most famous of these, The Kiss hangs in the Belvedere Palace Museum in Vienna.

Many experts believe that the painting is of Klimt kissing Emilie. The depiction is open to a lot of interpretation. To some it does not appear to be a gentle embrace but rather a more aggressive assertion of male power over the woman. He appears to be holding her head at a very precarious, neck-breaking, angle.

The very intimate and evocative portrayal was typical of Klimt, including the complex and intricate geometric patterns. 

You are signed in as:null

Please sign in or join to share your thoughts on this story

No comments yet