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The painted kiss : a novel
Elizabeth Hickey
Adult Fiction HICKEY

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Hickey imagines the bonds between Gustav Klimt and his younger lover-whose name he pronounced with his dying breath-in her expressively written debut. Before Emilie Fl?ge became the owner of a successful Viennese fashion house and Klimt became a famed, controversial painter, she was a privileged 12-year-old reluctantly taking drawing lessons and he was her starving artist teacher. From her WWII hideaway in the Austrian countryside in 1944, where she has transported Gustav's drawings ("all I could bring from Vienna... [perhaps] the only things of his to survive"), the aged Emilie flashes back to her fin-de-siecle hometown. Hickey traces the changing relationship between Klimt and his prot?g? from when she first became his art student as an adolescent through their on-again, off-again romance as she matures to their complicated relationship that culminates in the famed painting The Kiss. While the novel bears some obvious similarities to Girl with a Pearl Earring, it doesn't quite have that novel's power. But Hickey's language is sensual, lush and unhurried, and the prose wears its author's research gracefully. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

First novelist Hickey uses her art history background to paint a fictionalized biography of Emilie Fl?ge, a Viennese fashion designer and friend of painter Gustav Klimt. Though not much is known about Fl?ge's life or the nature of her association with Klimt, Hickey portrays their relationship as a complicated friendship with an undercurrent of sexual tension. Emilie is 12 when she first meets Klimt, and he soon becomes her drawing teacher. Despite their conflicting feelings for each other, the two remain loyal companions through family tragedies and Klimt's numerous love affairs. Unfortunately, Hickey tries to cover too much in 250-plus pages: the secondary characters are merely sketched, sometimes inconsistently. Also, the abundant historical background, critical reaction to Klimt's work, and characters' thoughts and feelings could have been better integrated into the plot, characterization, and dialog. Though novels about real-life artists are often popular, this one is a marginal purchase.-Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Univ. of Minnesota Libs., Minneapolis (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Gustav Klimt
Age: 1862-1918
Renowned artist and painter; hired by Emiele's father to teacher her basic drawing and to paint her portrait; falls in love with the young girl; introduces her to the artist subculture; she becomes his mistress; she became the model for his greatest masterpiece.

Emiele Floege
Her bourgeois father hires famous painter Gustav Klimt to paint his daughter's portrait; the artist falls in love with Emiele; influences her as a thinker and an artist; she becomes his constant mistress and they form a special relationship.

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