The kiss and Klimt

What’s the link between Shape of Water and Gustav Klimt?


A sketch inspired from a work by Natalie Hall for the movie Shape of Water. Done by Yours truly.

Shape of Water is an elegant movie with some brilliant acting by Sally Hawkins who plays Elisa, a mute janitor who works at a secret government laboratory. It is a potpourri of genres — science fiction, drama, thriller, and romance, but what really stayed with me are the brilliant charcoal artworks that Elisa’s neighbor does of her and the amphibian humanoid she falls in love with. (You can see them in this trailer at 2.19). So much so that I got back home and sketched it myself.

The original sketches were actually by a Los Angeles based illustrator Natalie Hall. You can see more of her works here.

Fact: Shape of Water won for Best Director at the Golden Globe Awards, and bagged 13 nominations at the Academy Awards. While it is to be seen whether it will win any, the director Guillermo Del Toro is busy refuting claims that the plot was copied from a 1969 play called  Let me hear you whisper – a work by Pulitzer prize winning author Paul Zindel.

I also liked the poster in which the two of them are engaged in a warm embrace (the featured image of this post). Apparently, Jean, who worked on it, was inspired by the painting Der Kuss (or the kiss), 1908, by Austrian painter Gustav Klimt, according to an article in New York Times.

Der Kuss by Gustav Klimt – the painting that inspired the Shape of Water poster. 

To know more about Gustav Klimt, watch the presentation below.

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