Edvard MUNCH

[1863 - 1944]

Attraction [1896]

  • lithograph on paper 47.2×35.8cm

[Audio Guide]

A man and a woman gaze at one another before an undulating shoreline. The sea and the sky in the background are dim and indistinct, and the land portion is a black color melting into the darkness. The white wall that runs alongside the sea emphasizes the sense of perspective but feels unrealistic, and it conveys a kind of tension from within the picture. But this is not the only sense of tension. Let’s look more closely at the male and female figures. The couple’s eyes are deeply sunken and lined in black, and they have no mouths. The woman’s long hair stretches out to the man, binding the two of them tightly together. From the “attraction” in the title it appears they are drawn to one another, but they do not seem gratified. As they can exchange no words, it looks like they are each wrapped up in their own feelings and resigned to their fates. Perhaps for the artist, the love between a man and a woman can lead to their lives being ruined.

The Kiss [1895]

  • etching and drypoint on paper 32.8×26.3cm

[Audio Guide]

A man and a woman embrace in a dark room, exchanging a kiss. The curtains at the window have been left open, revealing the buildings on the opposite side and the figures of people walking by. The couple are completely nude, and the man is slightly stooped over to wrap his arms around the woman’s body, as she places a hand on his shoulder and gives herself to him trustingly. Exchanging a kiss with their bodies touching, it is though the faces of the couple have melted into one. Separated from the city, they are engrossed in their secret room, and the scene that unfolds is rich and private. However, though the room is dark and withdrawn, it is difficult to imagine a nude couple kissing in front of a window in full view of the street. The couple are affirming their love for one another as though they are possessed, as if they are the only two people in the world. Perhaps the love between them is pushing away their awareness of the rest of the world.


Collection Audio Guide