"The Embrace", "The Kiss", "The Three Ages of Woman" and "Hope II". The Republic of San Marino will be using these four masterpieces to commemorate the 150 years that have passed since the birth of the Austrian painter, Gustav Klimt.
Four stamps designed by artist Davide Cheli, remind us of the styles and imprint left by the Viennese Secession whose central figure was Klimt, an artist who knew how to contribute with great incisiveness in defining an Austrian school that was amongst the most significant national variations of Art Nouveau.
Soft, sinuous and elegant lines, bi-dimensional forms and particular colour combinations all render the ideal of Gesamtkunstwerk, i.e. a "total work of art", which led the secessionist artists to design, paint and decorate within a vision of an all-embracing fusion of the arts. The Viennese Secession, above all in its painting, was not so much an express act of revolt against the art of the past, as an initiative designed to create art in Austria, an art which answered the needs of the time. Klimt was president of the Secession, he organised its first exhibition in 1898, wrote its manifesto and published the first issue of the magazine, Ver Sacrum, the Secession's official organ through which Secessionist painters, stylists and architects laid the ground for "Secession-style" taste, above all in the field of graphics. 1862- 2012: a story which lives on in Galleries across Europe and now thanks also to this homage from the Philatelic Office of San Marino.