In connection with an exhibition of the series Frieze of Life in 1918 at Blomquist the art dealers in Kristiania Edvard Munch wrote in the exhibition catalogue about the 30 years’ work he had had with the series. The first picture he commented on was The Kiss.

The first, tentative version of the motif was probably painted in 1888-89.
Munch was pre-occupied with this motif and painted a number of variations with different positionings of the couple. All of them express the tense contrast between the vibrant life outside the window and the timeless, frozen moment inside the room.

It is important for atmosphere and expression that the composition places the couple standing by the window.

In the art of the earlier romantic period the window motif was loaded with meaning, and Munch makes full use of the possibilities that lie in the contrast between the inner and outer room/space.

Another important feature of the motif is the couple’s abstract conjoined form and the faces that shade into each other. This is Munch’s way of underlining that the couple are as one, and the picture is a beautiful expression of belongingness and togetherness between man and woman.


  • Title: The Kiss
  • Creator Lifespan: 1863-12-12/1944-01-23
  • Creator Nationality: Norwegian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Jarlsborgveien 14, Oslo. Norway
  • Creator Birth Place: Løten, Hedmark. Norway
  • Date Created: 1897
  • Physical Dimensions: w810 x h990 mm
  • Painter: Edvard Munch
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © Munch-museet/Munch -Ellingsen Gruppen/Bono

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