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The Kiss - In Various Art Forms

Updated on October 20, 2014

Memorable Kisses In The Arts

In art, when we hear the words 'The Kiss', maybe we think about Rodin's famous marble sculpture or Romeo and Juliets balcony encounter. And what about the Royal balcony kisses at Buckingham Palace?

There are many instances of memorable kisses in films, photography and art, both happy and sad. I thought I would delve into the art world and see what would come up.

This is a wander down the artistic lane of

'The Kiss - in Art'

rather than the art of the kiss!

william and kate the kiss
william and kate the kiss

William and Kate - Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Two balcony kisses!

29th April 2011

Vows were exchanged, and the stunning wedding dress was revealed, designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen, it was a V-neck gown with a long-sleeved lace overlay and 2.7 m train.

Royal watchers all around the world were waiting for that magical moment - when Prince William and Duchess Catherine Middleton stepped onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace for their first kiss.

It was a fairy-tale moment, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared their first public kiss in front of an adoring throng of fans and well-wishers, who swarmed around Buckingham Palace to get the best glimpse possible of the newlyweds in person.

After waving to the crowd, the smiling pair shared a demure peck while surrounded by their family. As the crowd cheered, the couple went in for a second, slightly longer kiss.

Read more about The Royal Kiss

William and Kate - Balcony Kiss

William and Kate - Balcony Kiss
William and Kate - Balcony Kiss

The Royal Wedding - William and Kate

Romeo and Juliet Balcony Scene

by William Shakespeare

There have been many memorable versions of Romeo and Juliet in film and art. Below are stunning works by Sir Frank Dicksee and Ford Madox Brown

Famous Romeo and Juliet Balcony Scene

Painting by Sir Frank Dicksee

Depicting Romeo and Juliet's Balcony Scene

An 1870 oil painting by Ford Madox Brown

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare about two young "star-cross'd lovers" whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. The play belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity.

Shakespeare's use of dramatic structure, especially effects such as switching between comedy and tragedy definitely heightens tension, while his use of sub-plots to embellish the story was his dramatic skill.

Romeo and Juliet has been adapted numerous times for stage, film, musical and opera.

Auguste Rodin
Auguste Rodin

The Kiss - Marble Sculpture - by Auguste Rodin, 1889

The Kiss is a marble sculpture by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin.

The Thinker, as with many of Rodin's best-known individual sculptures, depicting the embracing couple, originally appeared as part of a group of reliefs which decorated Rodin's monumental bronze portal, The Gates of Hell. The sculpture of the couple was later removed from the Gates, only to be replaced with other lovers, and located on the smaller right-hand column.

In the sculpture, the lovers lips don't actually touch to suggest that they were interrupted, and so met their end without their lips ever touching.

The Kiss, Rodin Museum, Paris

Giclee Print

Dancing Figure, the Kiss, the Woman

Fine Art Print

The May-Irwin Kiss (Edison, 1896) - First on-screen kiss

The May Irwin Kiss lasts just a few seconds and was directed by William Heise. An amorous moment from the Broadway play 'The Widow Jones' is shared by actors John C. Rice and May Irwin.

In 1896, the Edison Company bought the rights to a motion picture projector that had been invented by C. Francis Jenkins and Thomas Armat. The projector was named the "Vitascope" and on 23 April 1896 it had its commercial debut. During its first year, the "May Irwin Kiss." was the most popular film shown using the "Edison" vitascope.

Gustav Klimt
Gustav Klimt

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt - Emphasis on eroticism - circa 1907

The Kiss, c.1907

Fine Art Print

Gustav Klimt - Sensual Artist

In The Kiss, Klimt depicted a couple locked in a gentle embrace. The remainder of the painting is so striking and visually appealing, with an extravagant flat patterning effect, while close ties can be seen to Art Nouveau styles, which also invokes a conflict between the two- and three-dimensional works of Degas and other modernists.

Paintings such as The Kiss captured a decadence conveyed by sensuous images, which were themselves visual manifestations of fin-de-siecle* spirit.

Klimt's use of gold had been largely influenced by a trip he'd made to Italy in 1903. He travelled to Ravenna where he saw the Byzantine mosaics in the Church of San Vitale. Klimt noticed that the flat mosaics with their lack of perspective and depth were enhanced their golden brilliance. He then started to use both gold leaf and silver leaf in much his own work.

Klimt's emphasis on eroticism in his art was notable, and The Kiss is a discreet expression of this. He continued to explore the power and fulfillment of love and art, however, The Kiss differs from his usual portrayal of woman as the lascivious femme fatale.


32x53 Wall Tapestry

* French for "end of the century". The term sometimes encompasses both the closing and onset of an era, as it was felt to be a period of degeneration, but at the same time a period of hope for a new beginning.

Gustav Klimt and "The Kiss" were selected as the main motif for a collectors' coin, the 100 euro gold - The Painting coin issued on 5 November 2003.

The Kiss
The Kiss

Tosca's Kiss - Il bacio di Tosca

Tosca's Kiss - Il bacio di Tosca
Tosca's Kiss - Il bacio di Tosca
A warm, bitter-sweet documentary. You have to watch it if you are a singer, you should watch it if you wish to understand what being a singer is about. This Masterpiece doesn't ignore the difficulties and eccentricities of the inhabitants of this old musicians' home, but it shows them with a lot of respect and love. You will have to shed a tear at moments, laugh in amazement at others. The extras are good as well with an interesting interview with the director, and audio tracks from a 1948 recording of one of the main characters. Highly recommended!

THE KISS by Guiseppe Ragazzini - Art video

What would happen if you put together some masterpieces of art history in a sensual and erotic collage kiss? This gentle art video by Italian painter Giuseppe Ragazzini show us.

MUSIC:John Surnam, "Private City"

Constantin Brancusi
Constantin Brancusi

Constantin Brancusi - The Kiss

The Kiss

Constantin Brancusi spent a brief time working in the studio of Auguste Rodin, but having been trained in the realist approach to sculpture, it wasn't long before he moved away from it completely. Instead, he adopted the idea of the symbolic narrative and felt that his works were of universal significance.

This is fully evident in The Kiss, begun in 1907, which has an embracing couple as schematic figures, in a form of union. Both the man and woman are almost indistinguishable, but not quite. Brancusi's interest in the ancient arts encouraged this stylisation, and similar to the medieval masons, he carved the block himself (all his works are of a manageable scale). He believed that the completed sculpture emerged from a close co-operation with the material.

The Kiss - 1916

Philadelphia Museum of Art

© ADAGR, Paris and DACS, London

The Kiss Gate - Constantin Brancusi

The Kiss Gate is 5.13 m high, 5.45 m long, and the pillars have a width of 1.69 m, while Banpotoc travertine is the material used. To assist in building the Gate, Brancusi took on two stone carvers: Ion Alexandrescu from Bucharest and Golea from Dobrita. It's significance is very simple: the Kiss Gate makes the transition to another life, and the motif on the pillars stands for the eyes looking inside.

See more about Constantin Brancusi and his work, including The Table of Silence and The Endless Column at Romania

What's in a Kiss?

Lyrics and Song by Gilbert O'Sullivan

What's in a kiss

Have you ever wondered just what it is

More perhaps than just a moment of bliss

Tell me what's in a kiss.

What's in a dream

Is it all the things you'd like to have been

All the places that you haven't yet seen

Tell me what's in a dream.

I know it's really rather stupid of me

But I honestly don't know

Every time I try to find a solution

I'm surprised at how quickly I become so slow.

What's in a kiss

Have you ever wondered just what it is

More perhaps than just one moment of bliss

Tell me what's in a kiss.

And any time you need a light refreshment

Baby you can count on me

I am your very own delicatessen

Well equipped to supply you with your every need.

Well what's in a kiss

Have you ever wondered just what it is

More perhaps than just one moment of bliss

Tell me what's in a kiss.

What's in a kiss
What's in a kiss

The Kiss - Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - 1892

Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec - The Complete Works

Courtesy of

In Bed: The Kiss

Courtesy of

Throughout his career, which spanned less than 20 years, Toulouse-Lautrec created 737 canvases, 275 watercolours, 363 prints and posters, 5,084 drawings, some ceramic and stained glass work.

His notable debt to the Impressionists is very apparent, especially the more figurative painters like Manet and Degas. The style he adopted was influenced by the classical Japanese wood prints, which became very popular within the Paris art circles. He was brilliant at capturing people in their working environment, stripping the glamour away, only leaving intact the rich colours of gaudy night-life. The captured crowd scenes where the figures are individualised were undertaken with such mastery.

Reine de Joie par Victor Joze

Colour lithograph. France, 1892.

© Victoria and Albert Museum / V&A Prints

Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec - The complete works by Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec ECards, slideshow, user comments, more than 350 images, biography and more!

Kissing on VJ Day - by Victor Jorgensen and others

US Sailor bending young nurse over his arm to give her a passionate kiss in middle of Times Square as the war comes to a close.


Spread a little around!

Kissing The Sweethearts Goodbye

E. Dean

Fine Art Print

Couple in Penn Station Sharing Farewell Kiss Before He Ships Off to War During WWII

Alfred Eisenstaedt

Photographic Print

Opera Kiss

Robert Doisneau

Fine Art Print

Roy Lichtenstein
Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein - Kiss V

Kiss V, 1964

Fine Art PrintAt 37, Roy Lichtenstein had a dead-end job and a studio full of paintings that no one wanted. By 40, he was a celebrity.

He was, with Andy Warhol, the epitome of Pop art. His paintings are everywhere, not only in the great galleries of the world but also on mugs, T-shirts, posters and postcards. Cool, stylish and witty, Lichtenstein's art was part of the essence of the 1960s.

His work was heavily influenced by both popular advertising and the comic book style. He described Pop Art as,

"not 'American' painting but actually industrial painting".

BELOW: Not quite kissing, but this is the type of comic art that made Roy Lichtenstein famous. Roy Lichtenstein Foundation

Whaam! 1963

Two Fine Art Prints

Andy Warhol - Kiss - on YouTube

Judee Sill - The Kiss - on YouTube

Francesco Hayez
Francesco Hayez

Francesco Hayez - The Kiss - Romantism

The Kiss, 1859

Giclee Print

The painting of The Kiss encompasses many features of Italian Romanticism, as has been regarded as a symbol of it.

Being more superficial about the painting, it represents a passionate kiss, which puts it in accordance with the principles of Romanticism, as it emphasises deep feelings instead of rational thought and presents a re-interpretation and re-evaluation of the middle ages in a sort of patriotic and nostalgic way.

On a deeper level, the painting aims to portray the spirit of the Risorgimento. The man wears red, white and green, representing the Italian patriots fighting for independence from the Austro-Hungarian empire. The girl's pale blue dress signifies France, which in 1859 (the year of the painting's creation) made an alliance with the Kingdom of Piedmont and Sardinia allowing the former state to unify the many states of the Italian peninsula into the unified state of Italy.

Location of original oil on canvas: Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan from Wikipedia

The Last Kiss of Romeo and Juliet by Francesco Hayez

Oil Painting Replication


See more about Romeo and Juliet

The Kiss by Rabi Khan

The Kiss

Photographic Print

Rabi Khan started drawing as a 5 year old child by drawing on sand and soil from his imagination and observations.

Later he painted graffiti on walls as a teenager in Bangladesh. Then in 1986 he joined the advertising company in Bangladesh called "Prochar" as a junior artist, and in 1992, he moved to Canada and joined "Bangla Barta" (a Bengali community journal of art, literature & statecraft) as an Art Director.

In 1996, he graduated from Inter-Dec College in Montreal with a diploma in Computer Graphics, then moved to New York City to work as a graphic artist.

Moment Before the Kiss

Photographic Print

His two styles of painting are:

abstract art with geometric figures,

colorful images with fluid impressions

In the case of the former, his inspiration was instigated by geometric and futuristic figures, while for the latter inspiration came from ripples on water, and effects of oil on water.

He was heavily inspired by his wife and child, especially during his wife's pregnancy - all this had a profound impression on his paintings.

Passionate Kiss, Rabi Khan 2008

Passionate Kiss, Rabi Khan 2008
Passionate Kiss, Rabi Khan 2008

The First Kiss and Kids Kissing - by Tim Anderson and Anon

The First Kiss

Kim Anderson

Fine Art Print

Kids Kissing

Fine Art Print

Kissing on Bridge in Venice and Kiss in the Rain - Anon and Leonid Afremov

Young Adult Couple Hugging and Kissing on Bridge over Canal, Venice, Italy

Photographic Print

Kiss Under The Rain

Leonid Afremov

Giclee Print

Give Me a Kiss - Poppies and Lipstick! - Caroline Wenig and Ashley David

Give Me a Kiss by Caroline Wenig
Give Me a Kiss by Caroline Wenig


Ashley David

Fine Art Print

The Passionate Kiss - by Timothy Sorsdahl

The Passionate Kiss by Timothy Sorsdahl
The Passionate Kiss by Timothy Sorsdahl

Kiss in Paris - by Talantbek Chekirov

Kiss in Paris

Talantbek Chekirov

Fine Art Print

Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch - The Kiss in 1897

Munch created a number of works in a thematic vein, The Kiss was one of them, and exhibited them alongside each other in 'The Frieze of Life' as he termed it. The themes were wide and varied; they spanned love, sex, anxiety, infidelity, jealousy and several stages of life. Death was also included, depicted by the famous painting 'The Scream'.

This painting of The Kiss captures an intimate moment between two nudes, the woman is pulling the man towards her in a typical lover's embrace, with mouths locked in a passionate kiss. This is an example of Munch's theme of the femme fatal being the dominant creature while taking control to fuel her sexual appetite.

The Kiss, 1897

Buy at

Gone with the Wind: Kissed

Kissing Technique Poll - Passion stakes!

A little lighthearted fun, so please vote and have a laugh!

Which of the following best describes your preferred technique?

See results

The Almost Kiss - But Worthy To Be Here - Psyche Revived by Love's Kiss - Antonio Canova

Psyche Revived by Love's Kiss
Psyche Revived by Love's Kiss

Antonio Canova (1757 - 1822) was a talented Italian sculptor from the Republic of Venice. He became famous for being able to render his marble sculptures so delicately, depicting nude flesh. Following the theatrical excesses of Baroque sculpture, a return to classical refinement marked the epitome of the neoclassical style for him.

KISS - Rock & Roll - Musical passion

Kiss Alive Forever - over 1,900 performances!

Kiss Alive Forever: The Complete Touring History
Kiss Alive Forever: The Complete Touring History
KISS is unequaled in the world of concert performance. Over a quarter century’s worth of visually spectacular and financially profitable concerts are testimony to that fact. KISS Alive Forever is the must-have reference for every die-hard KISS fan—-a complete archive of well over 1,900 performances, all categorized by tour.

Lots of Little Kisses

Lucky, Romantic and Tango Kisses! - By various artists

The Kiss by Tamara de Lempicka
The Kiss by Tamara de Lempicka
Kiss of the Dryad by Oliver Grey
Kiss of the Dryad by Oliver Grey
Romantic Kiss by Jurgen Gottschlag
Romantic Kiss by Jurgen Gottschlag

Kisses in Art - on YouTube

Have you any favorites not mentioned here?

Fanfare For A Kiss - Any thoughts, do have your say, thank you!

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    • AlanJC321 profile image


      6 years ago

      What a beautiful and passionate collection. Thanks for sharing!

    • lesliesinclair profile image


      6 years ago

      Oh, it was the first copy sculpture I bought my new hubby oh so many years ago.

    • FastSecrets profile image


      7 years ago

      Iâm truly enjoying the design and layout of your lens.

      Itâs a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more

      enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      nice lens

    • Angelina Gherna profile image


      7 years ago from California

      The Kiss by Edvard Munch

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens! Thanks for including Judee Sill's song, too. It's one of my favorites.

    • sousababy profile image


      8 years ago

      Smoooch . . you covered everything kissable, even the rock bank KISS. Great lens Rob!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Quite a beautiful lens - thank you much for sharing. Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      8 years ago

      Well done

    • SoniaCarew profile image


      8 years ago

      Lovely kissable lens! Well done

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      8 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      A very passionate lens. :) Angel blessings.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Speaking of KISS - certain band comes to my mind first...but I see you covered that, too...

      Nice lens!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      interesting lens.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      xoxoxo ... Happy Valentine's Day ... I think I've mentioned earlier that I love Klimt's "The Kiss" and have that art hanging on my wall!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What a wonderful lens! Thank you for sharing this!

    • totorotube profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow! very informative and cute! Love this lens

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      8 years ago from Ljubljana

      All great things started with a kiss;)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What a great idea for a lens. Very nice!

    • Sher Ritchie profile image

      Sher Ritchie 

      8 years ago

      Don't forget Canova's "Cupid" (statue)! The couple's lips have not yet touched, but they are woven together in embrace as lightly as though they were butterflies. It's said that the statue appears different from every angle. It was considered shocking and controversial at the time of its creation - well worth a look.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This is one that the young lovers need to visit

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      LOVE this! I must revisit and explore all of the videos and art that you have include further. Thank you for this awesome lens.

    • pheonix76 profile image


      8 years ago from WNY

      This is a beautiful lens! I love the artwork and photos you have featured. :)

    • ellagis profile image


      8 years ago

      "what is a kiss, after all?"..... it is also a very interesting lens, from now on! :)

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      9 years ago

      Wonderfully presented. You've included a few from my own collection (Gustav Klimt, Robert Doisneau, Kim Anderson). I love Doisneau's "Kiss by the Hotel de Ville."

    • patriciapeppy profile image


      9 years ago

      Oh the sweetness of a kiss

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      great lens!

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 

      9 years ago from US/TN

      Great lens -- blessed!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      What a great lens.


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