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The Painted Kiss Hardcover – 21 Nov 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd; 1st Atria Books Hardcover Ed edition (21 Nov. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743492609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743492607
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 831,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


""The Painted Kiss" is richly atmospheric and haunting."-- Lauren Belfer, author of "City of Light"

About the Author

Elizabeth Hickey was an art history major at Williams College and earned her Masters in Fine Art from Columbia University. She is also the author of the critically acclaimed THE PAINTED KISS. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Painted Kiss is a truly exquisite novel and a most impressive debut by author Elizabeth Hickey. While I do read a good bit of historical fiction, most of what I read is built around historical events; this novel, though, is intensely personal, the imagined story of a most unusual relationship between artist Gustav Klimt and the younger Emilie Floge (who became a successful fashion designer in Vienna). The cover art depicts Klimt's 1902 portrait of Emilie, and a number of Klimt's best-known artistic creations inform the narrative of this wonderfully lush work of modern literature. It is in some ways a disturbing read, as the relationship under the microscope is far from ideal, and the reader cannot help but sympathize greatly with Emilie as her character narrates the story from her first meeting with Klimt as a curious 12-year-old girl to Klimt's death and beyond, culminating in 1945 war-torn Austria. As I mentioned, I don't normally read novels of this type, and I must say that I was mesmerized by the entire story. Hickey is an artist in her own right, an artist of words, and she captures Emilie's soul as deeply and hypnotically as any portrait ever could, including the haunting portrait that graces the cover.
I know next to nothing about art, so I found this book's story of Viennese art history in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century most informative. The author works many of Gustav Klimt's portraits, and the women who posed for them, into the novel, and I would encourage the reader to seek out the images of these portraits online or in art gallery books - Klimt's actual historical portraits make for the most vivid of visual aids when it comes to immersing yourself in this story.
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By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 July 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is an ambitious novel by its first time author. The focal point of the book is the relationship between noted Austrian painter, Gustav Klimt, and Emilie Floge, mistress of an exclusive fashion salon in fin de siecle Vienna. This is a woman whose name would be upon his lips when Klimt died. Who was she, and what was their relationship?
As there is little known in the historical record about the relationship between Gustav Klimt and Emilie Floge, the author was free to let her imagination wander. Told as a first person narrative by Emilie Floge, the book reveals a relationship that would encompass many years, many events, and many changes. Having first met Gustav Klimt when she was a twelve year old girl, and he was but a penniless, nearly starving, artist, she becomes his pupil. As he instructs this young girl in the fundamentals of drawing, a certain undeniable attraction exists. She is fascinated by him, and he eventually notices the nubile young girl that she is. Under his tutelage, our bourgeois young lady glimpses the world of the demi-monde, a world where artists' models and artists would bypass the mores of accepted society.
Theirs was a relationship that would span his lifetime until his death at the age of fifty-six. Yet, theirs was not to be the passion of great lovers. Their relationship, at least in the imaginings of the author, was more one of intimate friendship. Through the eyes of Emilie Floge, the reader sees the accession of Gustav Klimt into the highest rungs of Viennese society, a sought after, though somewhat controversial, artist and lover. He, in turn, becomes Emilie's patron, assisting her with the establishment of her haute couture salon, where she would dress the wealthy women who sought out Gustav Klimt in hopes of becoming his mistress.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read as a book club choice. OK but not life changing. Much of the "story" I knew and didn't feel it had huge insights into the mind of either Klimt or his muse. Would have been more interesting if it had included illustrations of the different artists' work, though did prompt me to look them up.
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