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JUMP TO LOT
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Prints and Multiples

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Edvard Munch
1863 - 1944
THE GIRLS ON THE BRIDGE (W. 628; S. 488)
Woodcut printed in teal blue with lithograph printed in dark blue, green and bright red-orange, 1918, Woll's variation III, with the dress on the central figure masked out, a good impression of this important subject, signed in pencil, on cream wove paper, framed
image: 500 by 425mm 19 3/4 by 16 3/4 in
sheet: 620 by 520mm 24 3/8 by 20 1/2 in
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Catalogue Note

The motif of Edvard Munch's The Girls on the Bridge has been widely recognised as one of his most celebrated, even from its first unveiling in 1901. As was often the case with the artist's successful works, Munch continued to revisit the composition throughout his career, producing a total of twelve known oil paintings between 1901 and 1935, as well as the woodcut offered here and a number of variations in lithograph, etching and another woodcut. 

Munch's experimentations with various media connect directly to the Symbolist ethos concerning the translation of mood - the various media embodied different emotional and psychological tones, each lending a different feeling to his image. By using various combinations of colours to express moods, each impression elicits different and personal emotional responses in each viewer. The Girls on the Bridge is a combination of techniques, each impression printed from one woodblock and up to four lithographic zinc plates. This impression is the first documented in this combination of colours.  Munch continued to experiment with this particular combination of green, blue and red-orange in his 1918-20 lithograph of the same title (see Woll 629).

The influence of Munch's pictorial motifs can be seen in the views depicted on Norwegian postcards issued at the time. The postcard from Munch to Gustav Schiefler, illustrated below, shows a pier in Åsgårdstrand from the same perspective as the composition of The Girls on the Bridge (although in reverse). This postcard was published after the artist's pictures were internationally known, showing how his motifs were integrated into popular culture. 

Prints and Multiples

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London