The French painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) was the product of a rather frivolous era. But even in the age of the riotous, there were rules which, of course, were mainly for the female sex. As marriages were usually allied with purpose, extra-marital affairs were not off the cards. If the husband was tolerant, a woman (very discreetly) was allowed to take a lover, at least once she had given her husband an heir. Amorous adventures before marriage, of course, were forbidden. Fragonard captured a secret encounter of this kind in The Stolen Kiss.

In 1859, Italian Francesco Hayez (1791-1882) depicted a medieval couple in an intimate embrace in his work The Kiss. Twenty-five years later, historical-themed art was still a favourite amongst artists. Evident in the English painter Frank Bernard Dicksee's portrayal of the most tragic, albeit fictional, love couple of all time: Romeo and Juliet.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's In Bed: The Kiss, from 1892 captures a tender moment which the artist described as the "essence of sensual joy."

In the truest sense, the couple in Edvard Munch's The Kiss literally become one. The Norwegian symbolist's 1897 work is part of the Lebensfries series, which features some of Munch's best-known works, including The Scream.

Perhaps one of the most adored depictions of a kiss is Gustav Klimt's work of the same name. It was painted during Klimt's golden phase, with many art historians believing that Klimt chose to immortalise himself and his companion Emilie Flöge in the piece.

Marc Chagall's The Birthday portrays a rather acrobatic kiss. The male subject hovers above his female lover with his head twisted in order to kiss her. Floating lovers are a repetitive motif in Chagall's work.

René Magritte gives the kiss his surreal treatment in The Loving Ones, 1928. Although the couple's faces are covered, Magritte still captures a moment of complete passion.

Finally, kisses were often given the Pop treatment by Roy Lichtenstein, as seen in The Kiss II, 1962.

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