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“Kiss by the Window” by Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch - Kiss by the window

“Kiss by the Window” by Edvard Munch

“Kiss by the Window” by Edvard Munch forms part of his series known as “The Frieze of Life”, which examines the cycle of life, death and love and was produced between 1893 and 1918. In this painting, Munch depicts one of the stages of a relationship between men and women. It is a motif of a couple kissing which he had experimented with over several years. In this version of the Kiss, there is a contrast between the world inside and outside of the room in which the couple is situated. The outside world shows movement, whereas the interior of the room is timeless, with the couple frozen in their embrace. In this version, the couple’s abstract form, in which their bodies appear to be merged as one, indicates their sense of belongingness and togetherness.

The Kiss motif is part of a series Munch called the “Frieze of Life”, on which he spent more than 30 years of his career. The cycle depicts stages of a relationship between men and women and is part of what Munch called “the battle between men and women that is called love”. It includes portrayals of attraction, courtship, realisation, and disappointment. Edvard Munch had to cope with mental illness during his life, and he experienced disappointment in love and his health.

Frieze of Life—A Poem about Life, Love and Death

Munch’s cycle which he called the Frieze of Life—A Poem about Life, Love and Death are steeped in emotions. His motifs illuminate the nocturnal side of love, the subject of death, family as disconnected figures of sorrow, anxiety, and old age. Munch tapped the depths of his feelings to examine his significant motifs: the stages of life, the femme fatale, the hopelessness of love, anxiety, infidelity, jealousy, sexual humiliation, and separation in life and death. The entire Frieze was shown for the first time at the secessionist exhibition in Berlin in 1902.

Munch admitted to a broader purpose for his work:

“My art is really a voluntary confession and an attempt to explain to myself my relationship with life—it is, therefore, actually a sort of egoism, but I am constantly hoping that through this I can help others achieve clarity.”

Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch (1863–1944) was a Norwegian painter and printmaker whose evocative treatment of psychological themes built upon Symbolism and greatly influenced German Expressionism in the early 20th century. His best-known work is The Scream. The Scream has been imitated, parodied, and following its copyright expiration outright copied, which led to its highly recognisable status in popular culture. The image has used in the promotion of books, music, movies, music, clothing, cultural events and pop culture merchandise.

Explore the Kiss

Reflections

  • Is this how a Kiss feels?
  • Exploring different dimension to the Kiss?

Kiss by the Window

  • Title:               Kiss by the Window
  • Artist:             Edvard Munch
  • Created:         1892
  • Material:        oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:  Height: 73 cm (28.7 ″); Width: 92 cm (36.2 ″); Thickness: 2.2 cm (0.8 ″)
  • Museum:        National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design – Norway

Edvard Munch

  • Name:              Edvard Munch
  • Born:                1863 – Ådalsbruk, Løten, United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway
  • Died:                1944 (aged 80) – Oslo, Norway
  • Nationality:      Norwegian
  • Movement:      Expressionism, Symbolism
  • Notable Works:

Explore the National Museum of Art, Norway

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“A kiss is a secret told to the mouth instead of the ear;
kisses are the messengers of love and tenderness.”

– Ingrid Bergman

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Photo Credit: Edvard Munch [Public domain]

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