Munch's woodcut version of The Kiss continues his exploration of the theme which had begun in 1892 with his painting of the same title in his Frieze of Life series (The National Gallery, Oslo) and the intaglio version of the subject of 1895 (Woll 23). One of his most emblematic images, Munch went on to execute at least four variations of the motif in woodcut. In his innovative, so-called puzzle technique, Munch sawed out the embracing couple from the rest of the woodblock and printed the forms as separate and discrete entities against an entirely different background of another board which he left untouched, its natural grain forming the sole background design. This impression is the final variant and is his starkest, most abstracted version of the composition. For the background, Munch chose a piece of spruce with a strong vertical grain which provides the striation of the background, contrasting with the sinuous curve of the couple. By eliminating all details in the hands and faces, and by limiting the colors to black and grey, Munch has distilled his original idea of the kiss to its most essential form: a shadowy arrangement floating on a luminous silver background.