Senju Shunga Revisits His Poetic Homage to Gustav Klimt
11 december 2020 

Senju Shunga Revisits His Poetic Homage to Gustav Klimt

Almost two years after the release of his homage (Fig.3) to Gustav Klimt’s iconic The Kiss (Fig.4), Senju returns to his original concept in order to examine what difference artistic and personal evolution makes when it comes to creating art.

Treacherous Sharp Rocks

On his blog he describes it poetically: “Through it all the idea of human love remains the lighthouse that guides us away from the treacherous sharp rocks hiding in the dark waters of the heart.”

Kuchidzuke Senju Shunga

Fig.1. ‘Kuchidzuke revisited‘ (2020)

Kuchidzuke revisited Senju Shunga

Fig.2. Close-up heads of  ‘Kuchidzuke revisited‘ (2020)

Curvilinear Contour

This new version of ‘Kuchidzuke (The Kiss) – Revisited‘ (Fig.1) has become a more restrained work. The abounding with ornamental pictorial elements with crisp curvilinear contour that surrounds the couple like a halo in the first painting, have been replaced by a calm, almost meditative use of gold, like in Klimt’s original.

Kuchidzuke Senju Shunga

Fig.3. ‘Kuchidzuke (The Kiss) – A Sensual and Poetic Ode to Gustav Klimt ‘ (2019)

Emotional Revelation

The first homage (Fig.3) was an emotional revelation for Senju, as he was anxious for the reaction of others when he would paint a new version of this masterpiece in the traditional Japanese style. Shortly after he posted the end result on his Instagram account he was overwhelmed by the enthusiastic reactions. At that moment, it gave him the self-confidence and acknowledgement that he could live and work as an artist. He describes it as one of the most beautiful moments in his life and one he goes back and revisits often in order to find inspiration and energy.

gustav klimt the kiss

Fig.4. ‘The Kiss (Lovers),’ oil and gold leaf on canvas, (1907–1908) by Gustav Klimt (

Femme Fatale

In contrast to the otherwise dominant femme fatale in Klimt’s work, the female figure here submits herself. She offers herself to the man and surrenders to him. The shimmering robe lets the unvarnished sexuality shine through. In this way, Klimt avoids the censorship on the taboo subject ‘kiss’, censorship, and holds a mirror up to the puritan Viennese and their own hypocrisy. The painting was a downright sensation and enthusiastically applauded by the public. The models in the painting: Klimt himself embracing his girlfriend Emilie.

Soon we’ll pay attention to the erotic drawings of Gustav Klimt…!!

Click HERE for an article on the 2019 version of Kuchidzuke (The Kiss) and other sensual pieces by Senju….!!

Kuchidzuke is available now in a limited edition of 50 in various sizes in the artist’s gallery shop (we are not an affiliate)…!!

Which version of Kuchidzuke do you prefer, the first or the latter? Leave your reaction in the comment box below..!!

About the author
Marijn is the founder of With more than 20 years of experience within the sensual and erotic art of shunga he is an authority in the genre. During this time he served many customers with complementing their art collection.
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