(From the publisher):
Vienna in 1886 was a city of elegant cafés, grand opera houses, and a thriving and adventurous artistic community. It was there that twelve-year-old Emilie Flöge met the controversial libertine and painter Gustav Klimt. When Klimt is hired by Emilie's bourgeois father to give her some basic drawing lessons, he introduces her to a subculture of dissolute artists, wanton models, and decadent patrons that both terrifies and fascinates her.
The Painted Kiss follows the developing relationship between Klimt and Emilie, who blossoms from a naïve girl to a sanguine woman, becoming mistress to one of the twentieth century's most fascinating artists and the owner of an exclusive fashion house, which Klimt helps design. Fin de siècle Vienna glitters with wealthy, beautiful women for Emilie to dress in her salon and for Klimt to undress in his studio. It is a world overflowing with the greatest artists, composers, and writers of the era, and yet doomed by the imminent collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Although she is never sure of her place in Klimt's life, Emilie is a constant presence, supporting him through tragedy, self-doubt, triumph, and scandal—and ultimately serving as the model for his greatest masterpiece.
Original title: The Painted Kiss
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ European→ 19th Century
Fiction→ Historical→ European→ Germany, Austria, Switzerland