31
31

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED COLLECTION

Edvard Munch
BADENDE PÅ SVABERG (BATHERS ON ROCKS)
Estimate
1,500,0002,000,000
JUMP TO LOT
31

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED COLLECTION

Edvard Munch
BADENDE PÅ SVABERG (BATHERS ON ROCKS)
Estimate
1,500,0002,000,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York

Edvard Munch
1863 - 1944
BADENDE PÅ SVABERG (BATHERS ON ROCKS)
Oil on canvas
25 1/8 by 34 3/8 in.
64 by 87.3 cm
Painted circa 1915.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Hammerlunds Kunsthandel, Oslo (1950)

Thomas Olsen, Norway (acquired by 1958)

Private Collection, Europe (by descent from the above and sold: Sotheby's, London, February 7, 2006, lot 32)

Acquired at the above sale

Exhibited

Oslo, Kunstnerforbundet, Munchbilder i privat eie (Munchbilder in Privatbesitz), 1958, no. 36

Bern, Kunstmuseum, Edvard Munch, 1863-1944, 1958, no. 83

Kiel, Kunsthalle zu Kiel der Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Edvard Munch. Gemälde und Zeichnungen aus einer norwegischen Privatsammlung, 1979, no. 18, illustrated in the catalogue

Literature

Gerd Woll, Edvard Munch, Complete Paintings, Catalogue Raisonné, Vol. III 1909-1920, London, 2009, no. 1161, illustrated in color p. 1091

Catalogue Note

Painted around 1915, Badende på svaberg (Bathers on Rocks) reflects Munch’s life-long fascination with the fjords of his native Norway. Depicting a group of young men on a promontory of sun-drenched rocks, the scene is set on at the rocky beaches of Hvitsten, a village on the Kristiania Fjord. In depicting people swimming and sunbathing along the beach, he enjoyed the departure from the dark and rugged landscape surrounding Kragerø, where he also lived at this time. Though he would continue to paint monumental winter landscapes, Munch returned repeatedly to the vibrant backdrop of Hvitsten to broaden his lighter palette while still maintaining the depth of his Expressionist style. 

After a mental breakdown that he suffered in 1908, Munch’s subsequent recovery set off a distinguishable change in his art: his paintings of the following period are characterized by the use of strong colors, a focus on lighter subject matter and a bright atmosphere. Badende på svaberg (Bathers on Rocks) exemplifies the “vitalism” of Munch’s later career, when he discovered a new interest in the corporeal. This liberation from the emotional and the spiritual resulted in a number of paintings depicting nude figures swimming or sunbathing. The dazzling light of the present composition brings the group of bathers into harmony with the surrounding environment. Far from the starkness of his winter landscapes, this scene conveys the vivid light and rich colors that Munch found on the beaches of Hvitsten. This period too was marked by Munch's exposure to Cubism which can be seen in the more marked angularity of his compositions from this period. 

Discussing Munch’s paintings of Hvitsten, Arne Eggum wrote: "Swimming in the sea and sunbathing provide one of the main themes from Hvitsten. On the sun-drenched rocks.... below the dwelling-house Munch painted a series of pictures, some of naked men, others of naked women, in the brilliant sunlight. The paintings from Hvitsten become lighter in their expression, the palette freer, while the light fuses scenery and people together to form a single entity” (A. Eggum, Edvard Munch, New York, 1983, pp. 248-49).

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York