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Edvard Munch

Moonlight

Moonlight

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About the original:

The colors are muted, but with clear contrasts between the dark forest floor, the white beach and the intense blue water. Details are simplified and subordinated to the whole, but without the artist letting go of the landscape's distinctive character and recognisability. The image has no action, but is rather an expression of a mood. At the same time, reference is often made to the moon pillar, the trees, the gently undulating shoreline and the water as symbols of the masculine and the feminine.

The motif is probably taken from the area around Åsgårdstrand, where Munch stayed in the summer of 1895. He was strongly attached to the place. The sea and the landscape both enticed and inspired, and the nature there can be found again in a number of the artist's pictures from the 1890s. Through these images, Munch writes somewhere, "the meandering shoreline winds, beyond lies the sea, which is always in motion, and under the crowns of the trees the diverse life is lived with its joys and sorrows."

The painting is a testamentary gift from Charlotte and Christian Mustad in 1959, and was incorporated into the collection in 1970.

Text: Marianne Yvenes

From "Edvard Munch in the National Museum", The National Museum 2008, ISBN 978-82-8154-034-7

Date: 1895

Other titles: Chiaro di luna (ITA)

Moonlight (ENG)

Designation: Painting

Material and technique: Oil on canvas

Technique: Oil

Material: Canvas

Dimensions: 93 x 110 cm

Subject: Visual arts

Classification: 532 - Visual arts

Motif: Landscape

Type of motif: Landscape

Motif - place: Åsgårdstrand

Acquisition: Testamentary gift from Charlotte and Christian Mustad 1959, received 1970

Inventory no.: NG.M.02815

Part of exhibition: Edvard Munch, 1983 - 1984

Becoming Edvard Munch: Influence, Anxiety and Myth, 2009

A Document Deutscher Kunst Darmstadt 1901-1976. Band 3. Akademie - Sezession - Avantgarde around 1900, 1976 - 1977

Munch 1863-1944, 1987

Munch, 1986

The dance of life. The collection from antiquity to 1950, 2011 - 2019

Nature's mirror. Nordic landscape painting 1840-1910, 2007

Art audience. The National Museum in the Kunststallen, 2021

Then Dahl and Munch. Romanticism, realism and symbolism in Norwegian landscape painting, 2001 - 2002

Lost Paradise: Symbolist Europe, 1995

Edvard Munch. The Frieze of Life, 1992 - 1993

Scandinavian Art. 19 artists from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden: seeing the silence and hearing the scream, 1987

Edvard Munch - Gemälde und Graphik, 1926 - 1927

Edvard Munch - Theme and Variation, 2003

Edvard Munch, 1998

Norway in pictures - Nature and feeling of nature in Norwegian painting through 175 years, 1989

Edvard Munch. Dal realismo all'espressionismo, 1999 - 2000

Post-impressionism. Cross-currents in European painting 1880-1906, 1979 - 1980

Edvard Munch. The Frieze of Life, 1993

Munch e lo spirito del Nord. Scandinavia nel secondo Ottocento, 2010 - 2011

Munch 150, 2013

Edvard Munch, 1927

Origini dell'Astrattismo - Verso altri orizzonti del reale, 1979 - 1980

Edvard Munch's "Mermaid", 2005

The magical north. Finnish and Norwegian art around 1900, 2015

Edvard Munch. The Frieze of Life, 1993

Munch 1863-1944, 2005

Edvard Munch. The Frieze of Life, 2004 - 2005

The Ecstacy of Color - Munch, Matisse and the Expressionists, 2012 - 2013

Landschaft als Kosmos der Soule. Malerei des nordischen Symbolismus bis Munch, 1998

Nature's mirror. Nordic landscape painting 1840-1910, 2006

Nature's mirror. Nordic landscape painting 1840-1910, 2006 - 2007

A Mirror of Nature. Nordic Landscape Painting 1840-1910, 2007

Munch, 1985 - 1986

The magical north. Finnish and Norwegian art around 1900 (Main title/ applied/ Norwegian), 2015

Registration level: Single object

Owner and collection: The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Visual Art Collections

Photo: Børre Høstland/Høstland, Børre

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Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch worked as an artist for over sixty years. He was creative, ambitious and hardworking. He made close to two thousand paintings, hundreds of graphic motifs and thousands of drawings. In addition, he wrote poems, prose and diaries. Scream, Madonna, Death in the sick room and the other symbolist images from the 1890s have made him one of the most famous artists of our time. "Don't become an artist!" Edvard wanted to become an artist early on, and there was no doubt that he had talent. But his father refused to allow him to follow his dream, and Edvard therefore began studying to become an engineer. But after just one year, he chose to defy his father, and changed the engineering school to the Royal School of Design in Kristiania. Talented and provocative bohemian It was obvious to everyone in the Norwegian art community that the young man was a rare talent. In 1883, aged 20, he made his debut at the Autumn Exhibition. In 1886, Munch became acquainted with the writer and anarchist Hans Jæger, the leader of Kristiania-bohemen. The bohemian milieu convinced Munch that art had to renew itself in order to reach people, and to mean something in their lives. In the same year, he exhibited the painting The Sick Child. It created debate! Courage led to breakthroughs Some stated that The Sick Child was brilliant, while others thought it was unfinished and that it had no place in an exhibition. Today this is considered Munch's breakthrough. Here he showed independence and a willingness to take new paths. With one key word, we can say that his artistry from here until his last brush stroke is characterized by experimentation. Munch did not care about established "rules" for so-called good art. His techniques in both painting and graphics were innovative. From people's emotional life, to agriculture and landscapes Henrik Ibsen's dramas about man's existential challenges inspired Munch. Themes such as death, love, sexuality, jealousy and anxiety were central to his early pictures. Some themes sprung from personal experiences. For example, Death in a hospital room and The sick child can be linked to his recollection of his mother's and sister's illness and early death. After 1910, Munch chose a quieter and more withdrawn life. With his own farm both at Ekely and in Hvitsten, he found completely new motifs, such as agriculture, working life and landscape. The man in the cabbage field is a typical example from this time.