This poster is a print ofThe Kiss IV, a woodcut print by Edvard Munch circa 1897–1902. Available in sizes from 10 x 10 to 18 x 18 inches.
This version is printed in USA on museum-quality, archival, acid-free matte paper — 10.3 mil, 192 grams per square inch — with an opacity of 94% and ISO brightness of 104%. The poster is surrounded by a .75-thick, black, alder frame and covered with an Acrylite front protector. Hanging hardware is attached. Made in Los Angeles.
Look at the picture of the unframed poster to get a better idea of the actual image quality. These framed mock-ups make everything look fuzzy. Also, the mock-ups sometimes make it look like there's a crease across the poster — there's not!
The Kiss IV
This print is related to Munch's 1897 oil painting called The Kiss, which was part of his series of artworks, Frieze of Life—A Poem about Life, Love and Death, on which he worked for more than 30 years.
He often used the same subject for a painting and various prints, simplifying it to its essence in the print. He made his woodcuts in sections and inked sections separately, adding to the sense of isolation his works convey.
The print and painting both show a couple kissing, their faces becoming one. Munch never had much luck in the romance department — he referred to "the battle between men and women that is called love", and this romantic fusion was not necessarily joyful and evokes varied responses. Interpretations have ranged from plain old unity of the lovers to a loss of individuality akin to death. Re the painting, one critic said the faces look like a gigantic deaf ear; another said the smaller person looks like a carp getting ready to eat the bigger person.
A painter and printmaker, Munch’s work is known for raw expression of unpleasant emotion — for instance, his most famous painting, The Scream. Each piece's concentration on a "single psychological dimension", his characters' appearance as roles being played on a stage, came to seem more symbolic than realistic, and Munch is classified in the schools of Symbolism and Expressionism.
People like to blame the cold and dark of Munch's native Norway for the misery of his paintings, but really he came from a messed-up family background. His father, a low-paid military doctor, was a religious obsessive who told his children ghost stories and told them that their mother (who died of tuberculosis when Munch was seven) was looking down from heaven, tortured by their misbehaviors. Munch wrote, "The angels of fear, sorrow, and death stood by my side since the day I was born."
Munch’s sister also died of tuberculosis, and his other sister was diagnosed with mental illness. He himself was frequently ill, missing school and being tutored at home by his schoolmates or relatives. His brother Andreas was the only one of the five siblings who ever married, but he died a few months afterwards. Munch wrote, "I inherited two of mankind's most frightful enemies—the heritage of consumption and insanity."
Munch went to engineering school, where he excelled, but the influence of illness and a Bohemian friend caused him to switch to art school, which did not sit well with his father. After his father’s death in 1889, the family was left destitute. Rich relatives refused to help, so Munch secured a loan from an art collector and took responsibility for his family.
For a long time, Munch didn’t sell many paintings, mainly because he thought of them as “his children” and preferred to make money by charging admission to see them (they were considered controversial), rather than by selling them.
In 1908, after Munch’s misery reached a breaking point, exacerbated by drinking and fighting — including an encounter with a gun that injured two of his fingers — he underwent eight months of rehab, which remarkably helped him so much that his paintings became cheerier, and sold better. He followed his doctor’s advice to hang out only with his good friends, and to never drink in public, and he was able to make a good living, buy property, and provide well for his family. He was even named a Knight of the Royal Order of St. Olav for his services in art.