To be included in the forthcoming Edvard Munch Catalogue Raisonné being prepared by Munch-museet, Galleri Kaare Berntsen and Galleri Faurschou.
The sublimely romantic Springtime was painted at Hvitsten on the west side of the Oslo Fjord, where Munch bought the manor Nedre Ramme and where he developed a lighter, life-affirming style marking his recovery from a breakdown. Rendering the figures and their environment with a bright ', his vision of human beings in harmony with nature. Munch maintained an emotional expressiveness in the canvases of this period similar to that of his darker works, but they demonstrate a brighter atmosphere that is rare in any other period of Munch's art. Discussing Munch's paintings of Hvitsten, Arne Eggum wrote: '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. 248-249).
The subject of the couple sitting on the shores of the Oslo fjord has its origin in Munch's lithograph Mondaufgang (Schiefler, no. 311; fig. 1), part of the important Alfa and Omega series from 1909. Munch started working on this series, conceived as a narrative juxtaposing text and images, while recovering from his breakdown in Dr Jacobson's Copenhagen clinic in 1908. Mondaufgang (Moonrise) was accompanied by the following text: 'Alpha loved Omega; in the evenings they would sit nestling close to one another looking at the golden stripe of moonlight rocking and bobbing up and down on the waters of the island'. The landscape surrounding the two figures and the undulating coast line are reminiscent of the beach of Åsgårdstrand, which provided the backdrop to Munch's celebrated Frieze of Life. Occupying a special place in the artist’s world and his memories, the coast of Åsgårdstrand provided a stage on which, in Munch's own words, 'life is played out in all its variety, with its joys and sorrows.'
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