Vienna in 1886 was a city of beautiful architecture, elegant cafes, grand opera houses and a thriving and adventurous artistic community. It was there that twelve-year-old Emilie Floege met the controversial libertine and painter Gustav Klimt.
THE PAINTED KISS follows the developing relationship between the moody, brilliant Klimt and Emilie, who blossoms from a naïve young girl to a sanguine older woman, becoming mistress of one of the twentieth century's most fascinating artists and the owner of an exclusive Viennese fashion house which Klimt helped design. Originally hired by Emilie's father to paint portraits of the Floege sisters, Klimt becomes Emilie's private art tutor and mentor, spending his summers with the Floege family at their summer home near Salzburg.
An art expert, author Elizabeth Hickey brilliantly renders the fascinating cultural milieu of the time and brings to life her two unforgettable protagonists. As in real life, Klimt emerges as an enigmatic and sexually compelling figure whose dalliances include many of his models. Yet in spite of his frequent affairs, and the turbulent nature of their relationship, it's a matter of record that his last words after his fatal stroke in 1918 were 'Send for Emilie.' It is that unbreakable, lifelong bond that makes THE PAINTED KISS such a passionate and moving love story.