The style of the Vienna Secession was characterized by being elegant, floral, stylized, decorative, sober and severe, at the same time, in addition to working on themes with allegorical, symbolic content, whose flat figures are configured with clean and sinuous lines in combination with geometric patterns; They were also interested in typography, a key element in their compositions, by the fusion of text and illustration; and, in some cases, they introduced expressionist-looking elements. It is worth noting that Klimt had an enormous influence on the Vienna Secession group.
Klimt was an artist who studied the styles of modern art, as well as Japanese, Chinese, ancient Egyptian, Mycenaean, and Byzantine art, which helped him to forge a personal style in which we can see a work of splendid decoration based on the gold ─application of the gold leaf technique: the use of a very thin sheet of gold─, and ornamental, organic and geometric elements in warm colors. Elements of an unmistakable sexual nature appear in his painting, being the figure of the woman, with a severe, dominant face, and erotic, sensual postures, one of the most recurrent themes in his work.
The works of his mature stage distanced himself from his naturalistic beginnings and focused on a progressive development of symbolic, allegorical motifs, which emphasized the freedom of spirit experienced by all the artistic avant-gardes of the early 20th century. Similarly, the treatment of flat figures, as cutouts, the balanced treatment of curved and straight lines, and the dramatic character of his compositions that anticipate the expressive value that characterizes the German expressionist movement.
The Three Ages of Woman, from 1905, is one of Klimt's most symbolic works in which he represents three female figures, a mother with her daughter in her arms and, behind her, another woman with a limp and withered body, who doesn’t let see his face, but only his hair. This group of female figures allude to childhood, candor; youth, beauty; and old age, the twilight of life. The geometric motifs characteristic of his style, triangles, ellipses, circles, and flowers decorates the three figures.
The Kiss, from 1908, is one of the artist's most famous works. Although Klimt did not usually include the male figure in his compositions, in this case he did. The work represents two life-size lovers, a man and a woman embracing, he, standing, tilts his head and kisses her; she, given to him, on her knees, receives the kiss on her cheek; both are united by a golden mantle decorated with rectangular geometric motifs, vertically, in the case of the man; and spiral figures, circular and floral ornaments, in women. This couple is on a kind of carpet made up of flowers and plants.