Kiss by the Window Edvard Munch Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Kiss by the Window is an oil painting on canvas created between 1892 and 1897 by Edvard Munch. A Norwegian symbolist artist whose artworks were created during the Romantic Period thus the majority of his work depict emotions.

Kiss by the Window artwork depicts a couple who embrace each other as they fuse into one and their faces merge into a featureless single shape. The kissing couple is surrounded by swirling darkness with the only source of light showing through the window which is covered by a curtain. In this artwork, Munch depicts the lovers to represent their unity which is impossible to separate and at the same time hinting at death through the loss of one’s identity and existence. Love, relationships and romance were the subjects of his paintings which he did with variations in themes.

Today Kiss by the Window is housed in the Munch Museum in Oslo alongside his other works comprising of a series called the Frieze of Life. Which he developed during his career era that spanned over 30 years. This series shows the different stages of modern relationships with portrayals of courtship, attraction, realization and disappointment. From a young age, Edvard Munch was influenced by Impressionists such as Edouard Manet and later on by post-impressionism artists including Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. The post-impressionism style had so much influence on him that he focused his artwork around this style. Other artworks by Edvard Munch include The Scream, Madonna, Dance of Life and Anxiety. The Scream is among the most notable artwork by Munch in that it is among the most famous paintings in art history and it highlighted his career.

With so many artworks to his name, Edvard Munch influenced other artists such as Gustav Klimt who did a painting of The Kiss. The Museum of Modern Art concluded that the dark ambiance in his painting is a representation of Munch's ambivalence to the matters of the heart and romance. This artwork has received its fair share of criticism from art critics such as Robert Smith who notes that Munch favored the use of wide slurpy brush strokes which look more stained than painted. Another critic was an art historian Reinhold Heller who believes that the image evoked death than romance. We learn a lot from this painting which is both time and subject matter is romantic but the underlying darkness is an exposure of secrets and other ill things that are associated with love.