EDVARD MUNCH (1863-1944)
EDVARD MUNCH (1863-1944)
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VARIOUS PROPERTIES
EDVARD MUNCH (1863-1944)

The Girls on the Bridge

Details
EDVARD MUNCH (1863-1944)
The Girls on the Bridge
etching, 1903, on wove paper, a fine and atmospheric impression of the second, final state, printed with selectively wiped tone, signed in pencil, inscribed Gedruckt in 6 Expl., with wide margins, occasional soft creasing in the margins, otherwise in good condition, framed
Plate 188 x 264 mm., Sheet 309 x 476 mm.
Provenance
Christie's, London, 15 May 2008, lot 67.
Private collection, Paris.
Literature
Schiefler 200; Woll 232 (this impression cited).
G. Woll, Edvard Munch - A Genius of Printmaking, Zurich & Ostfildern, 2013, p. 55, no. 11 (another impression ill.)
D. Buchhart & K. A. Schröder, Edvard Munch - Love, Death, Loneliness, Albertina, Vienna (exh. cat.), 2015-16, p. 73, no. 34 (another impression ill.)

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Lot Essay

The present etching of The Girls on the Bridge of 1903 is the earliest iteration of this subject in the print medium. Repetition and variation lies at the core of Edvard Munch's working practice, and the motif of girls or young women standing on bridge - the steamship jetty at Åsgårdstrand - became a recurring subject for several paintings and a few prints. The first painted version, of 1899, shows all three girls peering over the water (Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo). Two years later, in 1901, Munch created another painting, this time with the first figure turned towards the viewer (Kunsthalle Hamburg). It is this painting that the composition of the present etching resembles most closely. Several other painted variations on the theme were made over the years. In 1905, Munch made a small, extremely rare woodcut in an upright format (Woll 271), followed by two lithographic variations (Woll 416 & 629) and a large woodcut (Woll 628) between 1912 and 1918.
The Girls on the Bridge is an outstanding example of Munch's ability to turn a seemingly quotidian scene into a powerful emblem of longing, isolation and nostalgia.

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