Munch worked on the sequence of images now know as the frieze of life for over three decades. At it’s core is what he referred to as the battle between men and women that is called love. Time and again he depicted the key stages of tempestuous relationship between the sexes: attraction, courtship, the ecstatic consummation we see here, and inevitably disappointment.
This painting The Kiss is shrouded in darkness broken only by a glimpse of daylight, it embodies Munch’s ambivalent feelings about the rituals of intimacy. Munch’s The Kiss represents on one hand, an ideal of unity between woman and man in the act of generating a new life on the other hand, it also represents a loss of individuality, a loss of one’s own existence and identity that’s not only apart of this generation of new life, but is also threatening and possessing within its implications a hint of at least death itself.