Gustav Klimt’s legendary masterpiece ‘The Kiss’, becomes a jigsaw puzzle on Numiartis’ latest coin

Gustav Klimt has seen a huge resurgence in the popularity of his work since becoming persona non grata in the middle of the 20th century. As the person making Klimts work socially unacceptable was Adolf Hitler, we can safely assume the problem wasn’t the artwork… The last few years has also seen a fine selection of coins bearing this legendary artists exquisite work, including an award-winning gold series from the Austrian Mint, and now Numiartis are adding an unusual piece to the mix.

Similar in concept to Powercoins recent Micropuzzle Treasures coin, this new release breaks up the original artwork into jigsaw puzzle pieces, in the case 340 of them. We’re not talking separate pieces of course, just struck to look like it. The main reverse face of the coin is beautifully coloured to do full justice to Klimt’s blingy original, and there’s a small portion of eleven pieces left missing, making it doubly obvious what is being depicted here. The series title, ‘So Puzzle Art’, is inscribed in the space.

The obverse is quite clever as it’s struck to show the back of the puzzle pieces and the artwork, with the issue details placed across a pattern of them. In a nice touch, the missing patch from the coloured face is reproduced here and is also coloured. The name of the artwork and the national shield of Cameroon are also present here, helping to keep the reverse face free of excessive distraction.

The coin is three ounces of fine silver in weight, rimless and antique finished. These renders hint at a great level of detail and hopefully, we’ll have some images of the finished article in a couple of weeks time. Obviously, the coin will be boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity, and only 340 pieces will be minted – the same amount as the number of pieces that make up the jigsaw.

THE KISS by Gustav Klimt

The Kiss (in German Liebespaar, Lovers) is an oil painting, with added silver and gold leaf by the Austrian Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt, and was painted between 1907 and 1908 during the height of Klimt’s “Golden Period”. The painting depicts a couple embracing one another, their bodies entwined in elaborate robes decorated in a style influenced by the contemporary Art Nouveau style and the organic forms of the earlier Arts and Crafts movement. The painting hangs in the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere museum in the Belvedere palace, Vienna, and is widely considered a masterpiece of the early modern period. It is an icon of the Jugendstil—Viennese Art Nouveau—and is considered Klimt’s most popular work.

Love, intimacy, and sexuality are common themes found in Gustav Klimt’s works. The Stoclet Frieze and the Beethoven Frieze are such examples of Klimt’s focus on romantic intimacy. Both works are precursors to The Kiss and feature the recurring motif of an embracing couple.

It is thought that Klimt and his companion Emilie Flöge modeled for the work, but there is no evidence or record to prove this. Others suggest the female was the model known as ‘Red Hilda’; she bears strong resemblance to the model in his Woman with feather boa, Goldfish and Danaë.

DENOMINATION 3,000 Francs CFA (Cameroon)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 93.3 grams
FINISH Antique
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes