With its resplendent golden touches and ethereal subjects, it is no wonder that The Kiss is one of the most famous paintings in the world. Made by Gustav Klimt, it exemplifies the artist's famous Golden Phase, in which he adorned canvases with shimmering gold leaf. Now, fans of Klimt's iconic style can see 63 of his masterpieces in a new digital exhibition entitled Klimt vs. Klimt: The Man of Contradictions.
The innovative experience is created by Google Arts & Culture in collaboration with Belvedere Museum, which boasts the largest collection of Klimt paintings in the world. It features many of Klimt's most beloved works, as well as reconstructions of paintings that were lost in a fire in 1945. These pieces—called the Faculty Paintings—were restored to their original coloring using AI technology. This was made possible by the black and white records of the lost paintings, and the insight of how Klimt produced his other works.
“The result for me was surprising because we were able to color it even in the places where we had no knowledge,” says Dr. Franz Smola, curator at the Belvedere Museum. “With machine learning, we have good assumptions that Klimt used certain colors.” In addition to these newly restored pieces, visitors can find other less-seen art by Klimt that has been digitized for the first time. Viewers can also zoom in on each work of art displayed in the online gallery while a narrator provides an overview of Klimt's life and career.
You can view the online exhibition and learn more about Klimt's life, here.