Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Three paintings by Munch

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Here's a midweek art post, three spring-related paintings by Edvard Munch to celebrate the coming of spring:

  1. Spring (1889) -- naturalism
  2. Spring Day on Karl Johan (1891) -- impressionism
  3. Evening on Karl Johan (1892) -- expressionism
These three works, amidst many others of the time, show Munch in transition from the naturalism and impressionism of his early years to the expressionism that would come to define him. The sadness and quiet suffering of Spring points ahead to Munch's exploration of the inner demons of humanity that are already on display in Evening on Karl Johan (and the tall, lanky figure walking the other way, in opposition to the crowd, to the mass of humanity, is Munch himself). The Scream was completed the following year, in 1893, many of his other famous works around the same time. Spring Day on Karl Johan seems almost out of place -- sunny, pretty, even optimistic -- but like his other impressionist works it reminds us of Munch's astonishing breadth as an artist, one who refused to be bound by convention and style.

For more on Munch's work, see The Artchive and Artcyclopedia.


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